49ersí Patrick Willis sustains ankle injury, Navorro Bowman returns to practice
However, Willis remained on the field and watched the rest of the practice with his wrist heavily wrapped, with what appeared to be ice. Team trainers examined Willis’ wrist during a one-on-one blocking drills between the first-team linebacker group and running backs. General manager Trent Baalke and Jim Harbaugh also personally checked up on Willis.
Second-year pro Michael Wilhoite replaced Willis on the first team linebackers group during the early red-zone drills Wednesday. Wilhoite lined up next to inside linebacker Navorro Bowman, who was back in action Wednesday after missing yesterday’s practice with an apparent groin strain.
The 28-year-old Willis is coming off a season in which he started all 16 games for the 49ers on his way to his sixth-straight Pro Bowl appearance. Willis also earned First Team All-Pro honors for a fifth time last season as the 49ers reached Super Bowl XLVII.
In other training camp injury updates, outside linebacker Aldon Smith, center Jonathan Goodwin, and a trio of wide receivers – including A.J. Jenkins, Kyle Williams as well as Kassim Osgood (who are all battling leg injuries) – also missed Wednesday’s practice.
Smith, who had a franchise record 19.5 sacks last season, sat out his first practice since the 49ers opened training camp. But came out to watch the practice in short, he showed no visible signs of an injury, even though he had a labrum surgery this offseason.
Although reports surfaced yesterday suggesting that Jenkins and Osgood are dealing with hamstring strains, there haven’t been any confirmations as yet, so the injuries could be minor issues. But Williams’ case could be a bigger concern given his injury history, and given that he’s been inactive three days now – including the team’s day off two days ago. Williams had his hamstring examined again over the weekend, according to reports on Tuesday.
Goodwin missed his second-straight day of practice (even though he was at the team facility). But the reason for Goodwin to skip practice remains unknown.