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SAN FRANCISCO – Linebacker Patrick Willis, who went through a 20-minute workout two hours before kickoff, was declared inactive for the second game in a row.
Willis sustained a groin strain on Sept. 22 against the Indianapolis Colts. He returned to limited practice this week. But he was ruled out after an extensive workout Sunday night prior to the 49ers' prime-time game against the Houston Texans. Head athletic trainer Jeff Ferguson and head strength and conditioning coach Mark Uyeyama watched closely as Willis ran and simulated dropping into coverage.
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Michael Wilhoite will receive his second NFL start in place of Willis.
Willis, third cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and wide receiver Quinton Patton are the only players who are inactive due to injuries. Asomugha will miss his second game with a knee injury. Tramaine Brock will be the 49ers' third corner. And Patton is expected to miss six weeks with a broken right foot he sustained last week against the St. Louis Rams.
There is one lineup change for the Texans, as Ben Jones starts at right guard in place of Brandon Brooks, who is out with a toe injury.
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LB Patrick Willis (groin)
CB Nnamdi Asomugha (knee)
WR Quinton Patton (foot)
QB John Skelton
WR Chris Harper
LB Jermaine Cunningham
G Joe Looney
QB Case Keenum
WR Lestar Jean
LB Tim Dobbins
T Andrew Gardner
G Brandon Brooks
DE Sam Montgomery
DE Tim Jamison