Play of rookie Chris Borland alleviates blow of losing Patrick Willis

Just as the San Francisco 49ers start to get reinforcements on the defensive side of the ball — outside linebacker Aldon Smith’s nine-game suspension is over — their defense took another hit with All-Pro inside linebacker Patrick Willis being placed on season-ending injured reserve with a toe injury on Tuesday.

Still, the roster hit might not be as severe a Super Bowl-crippling blow as imagined. Not with the recent play of Willis’ replacement.

via – NFL Nation

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