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Patrick Willis not at start of 49ers practice, unlikely to play vs. Saints

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The San Francisco 49ers are back at practice to wrap up their week before the Saints game. Unfortunately, it looks like they will be without linebacker Patrick Willis on Sunday. He sat out the start of Friday practice, and is likely doubtful.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers are unlikely to have linebacker Patrick Willis on hand for Sunday's huge game against the New Orleans SaintsAccording to local media, Willis was not on hand for the start of practice. It is entirely possible he shows up later, but at this point, it looks like he will be listed as DNP for Friday's practice. On Thursday, Vic Fangio said that Willis was questionable for Sunday, but if he did not get in practice on Thursday or Friday, he would be doubtful.

This means Chris Borland will probably be starting next to Michael Wilhoite in the Superdome. It is safe to say the 49ers face a challenge with these two. Borland and Wilhoite have done solid work against the run, but both are question marks in pass coverage. Wilhoite is slightly better, but it is still a weakness for this Sunday.

In other news, Dan Skuta was on hand for practice. The 49ers will release their final injury report later this afternoon, and I suspect Skuta will be listed as limited in practice, and questionable for Sunday. I suspect they will run him through pre-game warmups to see how his ankle holds up. If he cannot play, Aaron Lynch would get the start at outside linebacker.