San Francisco 49ers

Patrick Willis questionable for Saints game

Chris Borland seems likely to make his third straight start as Patrick Willis’ toe injury fails to improve
Chris Borland seems likely to make his third straight start as Patrick Willis’ toe injury fails to improve The Bee

Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said linebacker Patrick Willis is questionable for Sunday’s game against the Saints. After going through individual drills last week, Willis has missed two practices this week while he tries to come back from a strained toe on his left foot he suffered Oct. 13.

“I don’t think he suffered a setback, it just hasn’t gotten much better,” Fangio said. “It’s questionable. As the week rolls on, if he doesn’t start practicing at some point, it starts moving to doubtful.”

If Willis can't play, rookie Chris Borland would make his third straight start. Borland had a strong showing Sunday against the Rams, finishing with 18 tackles, the highest one-game tally for any player this season.

“I think the biggest thing you’re looking for there, which happened, is he got better from his first start to his second start, which can happen particularly if you’re a smart guy and a prideful guy, which he is,” Fangio said of Borland. “He’s going to continue to improve the more he plays.”

And once Willis returns? Would Fangio consider pairing Willis and Borland?

“We’ll make that decision at that time,” he said. “I haven’t really thought about that yet.”

Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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