SAN FRANCISCO -- Patrick Willis tracked down Larry Fitzgerald just as the 49ers' linebacker promised earlier in Sunday's game, and as a result, Willis forced a pivotal fumble in the 49ers' 32-20 win over the Arizona Cardinals.
Apparently a playful nudge by Fitzgerald not only caught Willis off guard but also provided motivation.
"I've known Fitzgerald a long time and we're good friends, (but) he came over and bumped me," Willis said. "Once I've got the chin strap buckled, I don't have friends. So I told him, 'I haven't tackled you yet. I'll have to get you at some point.' "
Willis used his left hand to strip Fitzgerald of a third-quarter reception that safety Eric Reid recovered at the 49ers' 11-yard line. The 49ers' ensuing series resulted in an 18-play touchdown drive that secured the team's third straight win.
"I am not going to sleep at all. I let my team down in that situation," Fitzgerald said of his fumble. "We were driving, running the football, the momentum is in our favor, and I just got a little careless with the football."
It was Willis' biggest play in an otherwise quiet return from a two-game hiatus caused by a groin injury. Willis said he's still not completely recovered, noting: "I told NaVorro (Bowman) I felt like a rookie and my eyes weren't as good." Willis also is still feeling effects from a broken right hand in August.
Willis heaped some blame on himself for the Cardinals' averaging 5.2 yards per carry and totaling 109 rushing yards, including a 15-yard touchdown by Andre Ellington.
Coach Jim Harbaugh added: "Pass rushers are hard to find, and it's exciting seeing him do the job he's doing."
Lemonier has been the 49ers' right-side pass rusher in Aldon Smith's absence, which extended to a third straight game while Smith is in treatment for substance abuse.
On the safety, Lemonier got past left tackle Bradley Sowell, a former college foe from their Southeastern Conference days. "He happened to give me the set I was looking for, and I did what (position coach) Jim Tomsula says, and that's run fast."
"To say I'm disappointed some fans did the wave this afternoon while @Campbell93 was down is understatement. Hope you get well soon Calais," 49ers CEO Jed York said via Twitter.
Arizona coach Bruce Arians said that Campbell "left the field with movement and that the feeling was coming back in from extreme numbness." Campbell was scheduled for further evaluation.
The 49ers' Frank Gore and Alex Boone motioned for the crowd to stop the "wave." After the game, Joe Staley tweeted: "To all the fans that did the wave while a player was on the field in pain getting carted off, I was embarrassed for you. Very disrespectful."