According to Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area, the San Francisco 49ers are placing linebacker Patrick Willis on season-ending injured reserve.

Willis suffered a toe injury during week 6 against the St. Louis Rams and has not appeared in a game since. It was later revealed to be a muscle strain in the big toe on his left foot. FOX Sports is reporting that Willis will require surgery on the injured toe. The surgery will take place next week.

This is a huge setback for a 49ers team that has been injury plagued all season long. The team is already without linebacker NaVorro Bowman, who suffered an ACL injury in the NFC Championship game last season. Head coach Jim Harbaugh said that the team wants to take an MRI of Bowman's knee before determining if he should return to practice.

Linebacker Aldon Smith will be returning from a league issued suspension this week and will play against the New York Giants on Sunday.

Each week, the 49ers' season hangs in the balance as they remain in third place in the NFC West, three games behind the leading Arizona Cardinals and a game behind the Seattle Seahawks. A significant loss like this is not what the 49ers needed during their push to make the playoffs.

Rookie Chris Borland has been filling in for Willis. He has 35 tackles in two games and recovered the fumble on Sunday against the Saints, leading to the 49ers' victory.