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Mike Iupati, Patrick Willis out for 49ers-Broncos

San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh spoke to the media on Friday, and was able to provide some details on the injury report. We break down the three biggest names.

Ezra Shaw

The San Francisco 49ers will head into Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos without several key players. Head coach Jim Harbaugh met with the media on Friday, and he provided some specific injury news. He said Mike Iupati is likely out because he is still symptomatic, and there are not enough days left to get through the concussion protocol. Additionally, he said Patrick Willis is doubtful or out for Sunday's game as he is still wearing a boot for his toe. Jimmie Ward is a bit more of a question mark with his quadricep strain.

The absence of Iupati means Joe Looney will be inserted into the starting lineup. There was no word on Anthony Davis, and I still think Jonathan Martin gets the start again. If that turns out to be the case, Dillon Farrell and potentially Marcus Martin become the only backups for the offensive line. Farrell moved into that role last week when Iupati went down and Looney went into the lineup. Marcus Martin has been inactive all season while recovering from a knee injury, but was not included on this week's injury report. If Iupati and Davis are out, Marcus Martin likely gets his first active status of the season.

The likely absence of Patrick Willis means Chris Borland is looking at his first career start. He came on in place of Willis for the second half of Monday Night Football and performed quite well. He faces a slightly bigger challenge this week in dealing with Peyton Manning, Julius Thomas, and that explosive Broncos offense. I think we end up seeing a good deal of dime defense from the 49ers to compensate for the limited depth at inside linebacker, but we'll see how they play out.

Patrick Willis spoke with the media after Coach Harbaugh's session and thought there was a good chance he could play after the bye. Check out socalisteph's rundown on toe injuries from earlier this week.

Harbaugh said Ward's strain was more of a question mark that just heals as it heals. If he cannot play on Sunday, the 49ers would likely move Perrish Cox into the slot position, and then give Chris Cook and Dontae Johnson more reps outside. And if they go to the dime, both Cook and Johnson would likely find themselves in the lineup.

While the injuries are frustrating, all the news did lead to a great comment from Jim Harbaugh.

Fooch's update: The 49ers and Broncos released their final injury reports a few minutes ago.

49ers injury report

Player Pos. Injury Wed. Participation Thur. Participation Fri. Participation Game Status
Iupati, Mike G Concussion DNP DNP DNP Out
Smith, Justin DE Non-Injury DNP FULL FULL Probable
Ward, Jimmie S Quadricep DNP DNP DNP Questionable
Willis, Patrick LB Toe DNP DNP DNP Out
Brock, Tramaine CB Toe LIMITED LIMITED LIMITED Questionable
Cook, Chris CB Quadricep LIMITED LIMITED FULL Probable
Culliver, Chris CB Shoulder LIMITED LIMITED DNP Questionable
Davis, Anthony T Knee/Ankle LIMITED LIMITED LIMITED Questionable
Jerod-Eddie, Tony DE Shoulder LIMITED LIMITED FULL Probable
Johnson, Stevie WR Hip LIMITED LIMITED FULL Probable
Williams, Ian DT Ankle/Shoulder LIMITED LIMITED FULL Probable
Davis, Vernon TE Back FULL FULL FULL Probable

Broncos injury report

Player Pos. Injury Wed. Participation Thur. Participation Fri. Participation Game Status
Ball, Montee RB Groin DNP DNP DNP Out
Thompson, Juwan RB Knee DNP FULL FULL Probable
Bolden, Omar CB Groin FULL FULL FULL Probable
Bruton, David S Ankle FULL FULL FULL Probable
Harris, Chris Jr. CB Knee FULL FULL FULL Probable
McManus, Brandon K Right Groin FULL FULL FULL Probable
Nelson, Corey LB Hamstring FULL FULL FULL Probable


BOLD-Indicates change in status

Out - player definitely will not play
Doubtful - at least 75% chance player will not play
Questionable - 50-50 chance player will not play
Probable - virtual certainty player will be available for normal duty