Linebacker Patrick Willis sustained an injury Wednesday afternoon and spent most of the practice with a large wrap on his right hand. Willis appeared to sustain the injury in a blitz pickup drill while matched against fullback Bruce Miller.

Willis watched the remainder of the 2 1/2-hour practice from the field so he did not immediately undergo X-rays. After practice he politely declined to sign autographs for fans pointing to his right hand.

What's unsettling is that Willis has a history of injuries to his right hand.

Willis played two full games with a broken right hand in 2010. When the 49ers were eliminated from playoff contention he sat out the final game of the season. In 2007 he played with a cast on his right hand after sustaining a break.

In college he played most of the 2005 season at Ole Miss with a cast on his right hand due to a broken finger.

With Willis out of the lineup backup Michael Wilhoite took over the first-team reps. He lined up alongside NaVorro Bowman who returned to practice after missing a practice with a sore groin. Bowman left practice late and was replaced by Nick Moody. It was not known if Bowman aggravated his groin strain.