Willis looks forward to more hand strength

Last week, San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis said he would try to ignore the pain coming from his broken right hand in the season opener against Green Bay -- the season had arrived, he reasoned, and it was simply time to play.

With a week under his belt, Willis believes improvement will continue as the 49ers visit the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.

“It was a little off,” Willis said of his surgically repaired hand during Sunday’s game. “It should be much better this week.”

Willis had surgery six weeks ago Friday. The typical recovery time is eight weeks. Willis didn’t play in the preseason. He did not seem rusty. He was very active and finished with five tackles.

In other 49ers notes:

ESPN.com’s experts favor the 49ers in Sunday’s huge tilt at Seattle. Thoughts?

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick gets some hometown corn-maze love. Kaepernick clearly approves. He tweeted out this link.

Defensive tackle Justin Smith said practicing against a fast quarterback like Kaepernick in camp helps prepare San Francisco to face a similarly fast quarterback in Seattle’s Russell Wilson.

“We don't have a pocket-passer statue that we practice against,” Smith said.

Nose tackle Ian Williams said he has studied the game of former San Francisco tackle Aubrayo Franklin as he tries to improve his own. Willis said Williams’ game reminds him some of Franklin’s.

The only player not practicing Thursday was running back LaMichael James. He has been out for two weeks with a knee injury. He is expected out a short while longer.