49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh is optimistic Patrick Willis will return to the field on Sunday when the Green Bay Packers head into town. Willis has missed the entire preseason because of a fractured hand that required surgery. It is likely Willis will have some sort of cast or cushioning on to prevent further injury, he has worn them before and his stats didn't show a decline while wearing it.
Honestly, I really feel like I'm on the field, I can't let it affect my play, said Willis, who finished second on the team with 120 tackles. I don't want to cheat my teammates of anything but everything that I have. I want to be good.
Willis is the defensive leader for the defending NFC Champions, and is sure to spark the rest of the team. Willis is one half of the best linebacker duos in the league along with Navorro Bowman, the tandem combined for 316 tackles, three forced fumbles and three interceptions during the 2012 season.
Willis' return is welcomed with open arms especially this week when the Aaron Rodgers led Packers come to town. For the last several years opposing defenses have been able to key in on the passing game because the running game has been non-existent ending in Rodgers being sacked for a league leading 51 times in 2012. Rookie running back Eddie Lacy brings a duel threat as he can power between the tackles and can also catch the ball out of the backfield requiring defenses to game plan for him.
This game has several match ups to watch heading into game day. Can the Packers offensive line hold off a front seven pass rush lead by Aldon Smith and Justin Smith? The second match up to watch will be Willis and Bowman against Eddie Lacy. Lacy will need to stay north and south as both linebackers have great closing speed. This should be the first of many great battles between them.
Follow me on Twitter @okisasquatch
Looking for /;.lkjhxz jkln bhgfdsfantasy football advice?