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Ex-San Francisco 49ers LB Patrick Willis was the first of numerous surprise offseason retirements. Following Willis was LB Chris Borland and T Anthony Davis. As expected, DE Justin Smith also called it a career. Davis has already said that he will be returning in 2016 after he has had time to recover from head-trauma.
Another retiree may be possibly looking at a return. According to Bleacher Report's Jason Cole, Willis may be considering a return in 2016.
"Patrick Willis is considering a comeback. Now he's not definitely going to do it. He's still dealing with the toe issue that knocked him out for his career this last offseason," said Cole while citing a source.
Willis' retirement was a shock to fans who were looking forward to seeing him once again paired up with LB NaVorro Bowman. Bowman returned from a devastating ACL and MCL injury and has played well this season for the 49ers.
Willis was drafted by the 49ers with the 11th overall selection in 2007. He spent eight seasons with the 49ers and was selected to seven Pro Bowls, was a first-team All-Pro five times, and was the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year. During his career, he had 950 tackles, 20.5 quarterback sacks, eight interceptions, 16 forced fumbles, and two touchdowns.
As a new report suggests might happen, do you think Patrick Willis will return in 2016?— 49erswebzone (@49erswebzone) November 12, 2015
Willis is still under contract with the 49ers, so they hold his rights.
In March, Willis discussed his chanced of a possible return to the NFL. Asked by Takeo Spikes of NBCSN's Pro Football Talk to rate his chance of returning on a scale of one to 10, Willis went off the board and said, "Zero."
While the chances are now unknown, even a slim chance of a return would be good for the rebuilding 49ers who currently sit at 3-6 and last place in the NFC West.