The San Francisco 49ers have had to endure a near constant torrent of bad news this season.
It began with a host of retirements, was followed by injuries and lacklustre performances on the field and has most recently involved the realization that their franchise quarterback might not exactly be 'franchise material.'
But things could be looking up in the long-term after a report today suggested one big name offseason retiree is contemplating a return to the franchise.
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As first reported by Jason Cole of Bleacher Report, Patrick Willis is considering an NFL comeback with the 49ers for the 2016 season.
The linebacker shocked the league when he opted to retire back in March, just three years into a five-year contract. At 30-years-old, he was still a huge part of the 49ers' defense and his absence this campaign has been obvious.
Willis is a seven-time Pro Bowler with the California franchise and news of his impending return would certainly provide a boost to fans if it were to be confirmed by the player himself.
Whether he would be able to return at the same level, however, remains to be seen. He spent the latter part of the 2014 season on Injured Reserve due to a toe injury.
Regardless, his status amongst 49ers fans means they are eagerly anticipating his rumored comeback...
At 3-6, many 49ers fans have already begun to look ahead to the 2016 season. The prospect of seeing a franchise hero back on the roster will only add to the anticipation.
49ers fans: Would you want to see Willis back in red and gold in 2016? Have your say in the comments below...