When asked by reporters whether the 28-year-old would play against the Green Bay Packers in week one, the head coach said: "Yes, yes, for what I know now yeah. He's got something he's going to be working through with his hand.
"I mean, there are things that still have to play out. We're still only seven practices in right now, so I'm not going to speculate on that. I expect him to be back and it won't be something that keeps him out very long.
"Well, there's been some nicks and you try to dodge bullets. Sometimes you don't dodge them all. But, what it means right now is there's guys that are getting an opportunity to show what they can do. If there's a positive there. And there's people that are doing that."
Willis made 120 tackles, two forced fumbles and two interceptions for the 49ers in 2012.