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Vernon Davis active for 49ers; Patrick Willis out

The San Francisco 49ers' much-maligned passing game received a hefty boost Thursday night.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported on NFL Network's "NFL Total Access Kickoff" that tight end Vernon Davis will give it a go in Thursday's game versus the St. Louis Rams.

"Oh yeah," Davis replied to Rapoport when asked if he will play.

The 49ers' inactives list confirmed that Davis is active for the game.

Davis' injured hamstring is not 100 percent, but Colin Kaepernick needs him out there to open running lanes and draw defensive attention away from his wide receivers who struggle to separate against tight man coverage.

Don't be surprised if Davis plays more of a decoy role this week.

Pro Bowl linebacker Patrick Willis and cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha missed the game with groin and knee injuries, respectively.

Michael Wilhoite took Willis' spot next to NaVorro Bowman at inside linebacker. The untested special teamer would be a player to exploit if the Rams' beleaguered ground attack is capable.

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