Willis to miss first game of career

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 3:42 PM ET

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis will miss the first game of his career Sunday against the Cardinals due to a hand injury.

Willis, who has been voted to the Pro Bowl in each of his four seasons in the league, recorded 128 tackles, six sacks and two forced fumbles this year for the 49ers, who were officially eliminated from playoff contention with last week's loss to the Rams.

San Francisco also announced on its Twitter page that quarterback Alex Smith will get the start behind centre in the season finale.

Smith and Troy Smith have been shifted in and out of the starting lineup by head coach Mike Singletary all season. Singletary was fired immediately following the loss in St. Louis.


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