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September 4, 2013
Collarbone injury puts Asomugha in a no-contact jersey


Nnamdi Asomugha, the presumed No. 3 cornerback for the 49ers, went through a limited practice in a blue, non-contact jersey because of an injured collarbone. Asomugha was one of several veterans who sat out Thursday's preseason finale. He presumably suffered the injury in the third preseason game four days earlier.

Asomugha was one of only two players on the 49ers' initial practice report. Running back LaMichael James did not practice with a sprained knee, which will keep him out of Sunday's game against the Packers.

In last year's Week 1 game against the pass-heavy Packers, the team's No. 3 cornerback, Chris Culliver, played 90 percent of the defensive snaps. In the rematch in January, he played 83 percent of the snaps. Culliver is out for the season with an ACL tear.

Last week defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said that Asomugha had taken the lead over Tramaine Brock to be the No. 3 cornerback but that the competition remained fuzzy because of Asomugha's injury. If Asomugha is not 100 percent, it may be Brock who enters Sunday's game when the Packers use three receivers or perhaps a combination of both players.

For the Packers, cornerback Casey Hayward (hamstring) will not play Sunday; Another cornerback, Jarrett Bush, was limited in practice with an ankle injury.

Inside linebacker Patrick Willis, who missed the exhibition season with a broken right hand, went through Wednesday's practice wearing only a glove as protection. Willis went through the full session and was not listed on the injury report.

When Willis broke the hand during a pass-rushing drill July 31, it marked the fourth time since he was a junior at Ole Miss that he'd broken a bone on that hand. He's played with a club protecting it on the three earlier occasions but didn't know what he'd be wearing Sunday against the Packers. "Hopefully it's going to be nothing," he said.

Whatever the case, Willis said he wouldn't allow his injury to be an excuse for poor play. "If I miss a tackle, it's because I didn't wrap up," he said. "If I miss an interception, it's because I dropped it."

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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