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49ers' Patrick Willis to play through pain again

  • Patrick Willis fires up the Candlestick crowd during introductions. The San Francisco 49ers beat the Green Bay Packers, 34-28, in the season opener at Candlestick Park on Sunday, September 8, 2013, (John Burgess/The Press Democrat)

The 49ers (4-2) still have two games to play before that week off. And the way Willis sees it, he can grind through games at Tennessee (3-3) and against Jacksonville (0-6) in London and rest later.

San Francisco sure hopes that formula works out. Willis was solid, but not spectacular, for most of the 49ers' 32-20 win over Arizona last Sunday — but he made the biggest play of the game.

With the Cardinals driving for a go-ahead score in the third quarter, Willis stripped the ball from wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald deep in 49ers territory. Rookie Eric Reid recovered, and San Francisco started an 18-play touchdown drive that put the game out of reach.

"I know it made Pat feel good to get his feet back out there," fellow All-Pro middle linebacker NaVorro Bowman said.

Forcing turnovers is something Willis and the 49ers have been awfully good at lately.


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