The San Francisco 49ers are 1-2. The veterans have decided they will not become 1-3 after Thursday night’s game with the St. Louis Rams.
“We were already in a defensive meeting and it was kind of out of the blue,” rookie DB Eric Reid told FOXSports.com Tuesday. “I guess [Patrick Willis] just felt the need to get up and say something to the defense.
“[He] called us up today, actually and told us that there is no need to panic. We know the type of guys we have on this team and we just have to play better and that starts on Thursday. We gotta go out against St. Louis and get a win.”
Willis, who sustained a groin injury in the Week 3 loss against the Colts, is unclear whether he’ll be available. Another Pro Bowl-caliber player missing is Aldon Smith, who has entered into a rehab facility following his second DUI arrest last week.
“He’s obviously a big loss,” Reid said. “He’s a playmaker for this team, so we’re looking forward to getting him back.”
Smith will be replaced by a triplet of pass rushers in Dan Skuta, Ahmad Brooks and Demarcus Dobbs.
Getting back to football quickly is a good thing for teams coming off two straight losses, but it doesn’t allow Willis and tight end Vernon Davis, who is battling a hamstring injury, additional time to recover.
“It goes both ways,” Reid said. “It depends on how your body feels. If you’re a guy that’s kind of banged-up, you might need that extra time but if you get going you’re ready to let that frustration out coming off a loss then it’s a good thing.”
Coming off a Super Bowl run, the 49ers aren’t worrying about the two early-season losses and their focus is primarily on what’s next.