Willis set for MRI, injury not believed serious


Willis set for MRI, injury not believed serious

SAN FRANCISCO -- Linebacker Patrick Willis is scheduled to undergo an MRI examination Monday on his right hamstring after exiting Sunday's game in the first quarter.Even without Willis, the 49ers rolled to a 26-0 victory over the St. Louis Rams to clinch the organization's first NFC West title since 2002.Willis sustained a strain low on his right hamstring while missing a first-quarter tackle on Rams fullback Brit Miller. The injury is not believed to be serious, but Willis told CSN Bay Area's Mindi Bach that he would undergo an MRI. He walked out of the 49ers' locker room Sunday evening without any difficulty.
Coach Jim Harbaugh said the 49ers would monitor Willis' condition over the next couple days.Veteran Larry Grant, a fourth-year player who started eight games with the Rams last season, played well in Willis' absence. Grant recorded six tackles, a sack and had two tackles for losses."It was an injury to Pat, but the good thing is it wasn't as bad as it could've been," Grant said. "We'll have Pat back, and we're going to be excited for that."The 49ers held the Rams to just 157 total yards. Running back Steven Jackson managed just 19 yards rushing on 10 attempts."Especially with a guy like Pat, that's a big loss for the team," Grant said. "He's the heart and soul of our defense and our whole team. He's the guy everybody looks at to make the plays to get us there."I study as if I'm a starter every week. I was able to go in and pick up the slack."The 49ers appeared to make it through the game without any other significant injuries. Cornerback Tarell Brown sustained a right ankle sprain but returned to action for the next series.

Bills sign two former 49ers

Bills sign two former 49ers

The Buffalo Bills have signed two 49ers free agents within the past two days.

After signing wide receiver Rod Streater on Wednesday, the Bills announced the signing of linebacker Gerald Hodges on Thursday.

The 49ers acquired Hodges in a 2015 trade with the Minnesota Vikings for center Nick Easton and a sixth-round draft pick. Hodges started 12 games last season and ranked second on the team with 92 tackles.

Hodges left the 49ers shorthanded for a late-season game against the Atlanta Falcons when he violated team rules. Then-coach Chip Kelly did not disclose the nature of Hodges infraction. Hodges offered no explanation or apology.

The 49ers entered the game against the high-powered Falcons with just two healthy inside linebackers due to Hodges’ deactivation. Starter Nick Bellore sustained an elbow injury on the third play of the game, and the 49ers were forced to use safeties Antoine Bethea and Vinnie Sunseri, and outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks at various points of the game.

The 49ers showed no interest in re-signing Hodges as a free agent.

Streater, a five-year NFL veteran, saw action in all 16 games last season after being acquired in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs in September. He caught 18 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns.

Harbaugh takes blame for 'premature celebration' during 2011 incident

Harbaugh takes blame for 'premature celebration' during 2011 incident

It was Jim Harbaugh's first season as head coach of the 49ers.

The 4-1 49ers were in Detroit and scored 10 points in the final 5:29 to beat the Lions 25-19.

An excited Harbaugh got a little too agressive during his postgame handshake with Lions coach Jim Schwartz. The two had words for each other and had to be separated.

Six years later, Harbaugh took the blame for what happened and said that he and Schwartz have patched things up.

"I went in too hard on that, too aggressive on the handshake. I've since changed that. Not doing that anymore. Can't blame him. I went in too hard. And you respect him for taking exception. We've talked, and we're good. We're back to friends. There is a protocol in a postgame handshake. I've been there as the winner. I've been there as loser. You just, 'Hey, nice game,' then go celebrate. Premature celebration there, in the wrong," Harbaugh said Tuesday on Barstool Sports' Pardon My Take podcast.

Harbaugh sounds like he's learned his lesson from that incident with Schwartz.

"The postgame handshake isn't the place for anything. If you're bitter, than change the I to an E. Don't get bitter, get better. Nothing's really changing at the postgame handshake. Just professionally shake hands and go on your way," Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh moved on from the 49ers to coach the Michigan Wolverines. Schwartz coached the Lions through the 2013 season and currently serves as the defensive coordinator for the Eagles.