SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

Coverage of the San Francisco 49ers

Patrick Willis No Sure Thing for Chargers Game

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    ATLANTA - OCTOBER 03: Patrick Willis #52 of the San Francisco 49ers against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on October 3, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Patrick Willis

    The San Francisco 49ers' defense has their work cut out for them enough as it is, with playoff position at stake and the task of containing the league's second most-powerful offense when they face the Chargers on Thursday Night Football.

    The task might have just gotten way harder on them. Two of the Niners' premier defenders are suddenly wearing casts on their arms with mysterious injuries.

    All fourth-dimension linebacker Patrick Willis has his arm in a cast, and so does inside linebacker Takeo Spikes, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Neither has disclosed the nature or severity of injury, and both would have to be considered questionable for the San Diego game Thursday night.

    It's one of the worst weeks of the season to be short-handed -- or broken-handed -- on defense, on the road against MVP candidate Philip Rivers. "The worst week came at the wrong time," Takeo Spikes told the Chronicle. "I was looking forward to it."

    According  to the intrepid tweeting of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat's Eric Branch, Spikes has the bigger mystery arm cast by"a pouind or two."

    Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who would not be surprised to see Takeo Spikes play the game with his arm wrapped in protective chinchilla fur.