Scott McKillop's knee injury naturally raises questions about the future of the 49ers' inside linebacker position. McKillop, a second-year player, had been playing behind Takeo Spikes at "Ted" linebacker this summer. Now third-round draft pick NaVorro Bowman will get plenty of work at the position with veteran Matt Wilhelm ready to step in if coaches don't think that Bowman is ready.
But if you were to ask Spikes who he thinks will be playing next to Patrick Willis in the future, his answer would be this: Takeo Spikes. Yes, he turns 34 this year and, yes, he's in the final year of his contract. But Spikes said today that he has no plans to ride off into the sunset at year's end.
Said Spikes: "In my mind, I would like to be here if the opportunity presents itself. ... The same thing happened with Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. The same thing happened with Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb. The way I always look at it, to be honest with you, is this: I'm the author of my own book, so when I'm ready to put down the pen and quit writing my book, that's when it's over. So it's no knock against (the young linebackers), but I ain't going to hand nothing over. I never have and I never will. If they come when my play is not up to par, then that's when I'll walk away from the game."
In case you're wondering, Spikes has played in every game but one since joining the 49ers in 2008.
-- Matt Barrows