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Niners trust in Grant to adequately replace Willis

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Dan Arkush
Executive editor

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Posted Dec. 08, 2011 @ 11:58 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

We hear it's very unlikely that star ILB Patrick Willis will sufficiently recover from his Grade 2 hamstring strain in time for the high-profile Week 15 game against the Steelers. While recovery times for hamstring injuries are normally considered very difficult to determine, the consensus seems to be that Grade 2 strains commonly take anywhere from 3-6 weeks to heal, which could take Willis out of the mix for the remainder of the regular season. At least in the short term, though, Larry Grant is considered to be a very adequate fill-in following his strong six-tackle, one-sack performance in place of the injured Willis in the Week 13 shutout of the Rams. "I don't think he can keep that type of play up," one team observer said of Grant, a local product in his second stint as a Niner. "Eventually, the difference between him and Willis could be felt. But he's a real tough, high-effort guy and a really good tackler."

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