Harbaugh: Willis' status still up in the air
If Patrick Willis can't play, Michael Wilhoite will get his second career start. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
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SANTA CLARA -- All-Pro 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis remains questionable for Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans with a groin strain.
“Uh, we’ll see,” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said Friday when asked about Willis' outlook. “He’s progressing good every day, so we’ll see what the chances are tomorrow and the next day.”
Willis was limited in practice throughout the week after missing the Sept. 26 game against the St. Louis Rams. He sustained the injury late in the third quarter of the 49ers’ Sept. 22 game against the Indianapolis Colts.
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Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said Thursday he believes the chances are “better than 50-50” that Willis will be able to play. If Willis is not available, Michael Wilhoite will receive his second NFL start.
The 49ers do not have to declare Willis’ status until 90 minutes prior to kickoff, when the list of seven inactive players must be submitted.
Cornerback Tramaine Brock will be the 49ers’ No. 3 cornerback in place of Nnamdi Asomugha, who was limited during the week of practices with a right knee injury. Brock played well in that role against the Rams, as Asomugha was unavailable.
All the 49ers’ other injured players are expected to play Sunday night.
Meanwhile, the Texans expect to have the services of left tackle Duane Brown and linebacker Brian Cushing, coach Gary Kubiak said. Cushing exited Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks with a concussion.
“Cush is fine and actually Cush has cleared protocol and is ready to play,” Kubiak said. “He’s good, took all his stuff he normally takes and is ready to go.”
49ers Status Report
WR Quinton Patton (fractured right foot)
CB Nnamdi Asomugha (knee), T Anthony Davis (shoulder), TE Vernon Davis (hamstring), DT Ray McDonald (ankle, ankle), RB Bruce Miller (quadricep), CB Carlos Rogers (knee), DT Justin Smith (shoulder), LB Patrick Willis (groin)
TE Demarcus Dobbs (calf), G Mike Iupati (shoulder), T Joe Staley (hamstring, ankle), WR Kyle Williams (knee)
Texans Status Report
G Brandon Brooks (toe), LB Tim Dobbins (hamstring)
T Duane Brown (toe), WR Andre Johnson (shin)
LB Bryan Braman (hamstring, shoulder), LB Brian Cushing (concussion), TE Owen Daniels (knee), RB Arian Foster (thumb, back), TE Garrett Graham (hip, groin), RB Greg Jones (foot, groin), CB Johnathan Joseph (not injury related), CB Brice McCain (knee), C Chris Myers (biceps), T Derek Newton (knee), S Eddie Pleasant (hamstring), WR DeVier Posey (achilles), S Ed Reed (hip, abdomen), LB Darryl Sharpton (foot, hip), G Wade Smith (knee), RB Ben Tate (shoulder), DE J.J. Watt (groin, nose)