Jim Harbaugh: Realistic for Bowman return halfway through season

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The 49ers lost linebacker NaVorro Bowman to a torn ACL during their NFC Championship Game loss to the Seahawks and the team isn’t counting on his return in time for the start of next season.

Or the first two months of the season, for that matter. Coach Jim Harbaugh said from the combine on Thursday that the team isn’t ruling Bowman out of anything at this point, but that they aren’t expecting to have him in the lineup until somewhere around the midway point of the season.

“Realistically, halfway through the season [or] something like that would be more realistic,” Harbaugh said, via Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. “But I never underestimate NaVorro Bowman.”

If that outlook holds, there’s a good chance that Bowman will be on a similar plan to the one the team followed with wide receiver Michael Crabtree last season. Crabtree opened the year on the physically unable to perform list and remained there well into the season before returning to give the team a boost down the stretch.

An extended absence for Bowman would force the 49ers to look elsewhere for a linebacking partner for Patrick Willis in the middle of the defense. Michael Wilhoite, started in place of Willis when Willis missed time last season, and 2013 sixth-round pick Nick Moody are in-house options.


41 responses to “Jim Harbaugh: Realistic for Bowman return halfway through season

  1. Really hoping for a strong return from Bowman. The guys is an unbelievable player and teammate. He will be sorely missed while he is out, but the Niners have lots of other strong guys on that defense to help make up for the loss.

  2. Well I guess the whole “wait till we get full strength” thing will start over again.

    Honestly can’t root against a stud like this guy. Too bad he plays for a coach who belongs in college at best. He has had the most powerful line up for 3 plus years and cant get it done. Seahawks Dynasty! …..ped this and that right? Like Every locker room in the NFL people.
    ONE Super Bowl Ring in the last 20 years! ZERO for 9ers….

  3. Here we go again.. Adrian Peterson was the exception to a player making it back sooner than expected.. Bowman should miss the year, unless Harbaugh pulls a Shanahan and rushes him back out there.

  4. Take your time Bo! You are the team’s spiritual leader – their silent warrior. Just having you around is good enough for the first 8 weeks!

  5. Beast. I’m sure the Niners will break through soon. Until then, they are like my Pats over the past 3 years. 2 championship game defeats and an excruciating Super Bowl loss. Just have to keep knocking on the door though and hope someone eventually answers.

  6. Much respect to Navorro. Get well soon, but don’t try to rush back. I want the niners as healthy as possible each time they play the Seahawks.

    Seahawk fan

  7. Who cares the whiners will NOT be able to overcome the Hawks Dynasty for years to come…. The Seahawks NOT Santa Clara will win the superbowl again next season mark my words… However when Bowman does return let me know I want to pop some popcorn for the event.

  8. I don’t think any fan of football let alone a Niner fan saw that gruesome injury not symbolize the game. Bowmans strength and tenacity were displayed as he maintained possession.

    As a noble Patritot fan mentioned above, the Niners still have a lot to be proud of. Resurrecting our franchise from the abyss into perennial contenders.

    I’m looking forward to next season (bittersweet since the Stick will be no more) with my fellow Gold Blooded troops! The Quest for Sic continues …

    GO NINERS!!!!!

  9. Bowman has my utmost respect. He was a great player for the Niners all year, but that fumble recovery and holding onto the ball while having his knee torn apart was the stuff of legends. The refs may have stolen the play from him, but football fans know what a great play it was. It’s a darned shame that *some* Seahawks fans showed their true colors by throwing stuff at him on a stretcher.

    Rest up and don’t pull an RG3 by coming back before you’re ready!

  10. It has been said that some Seahawks fans acted without class when Bowman was carted off the field. Most Seahawks fans would NEVER do that. And anyone who would do that is indeed completely classless and should be removed from the stadium. Seahawks fans in general LOVE watching the 49ers come to town bringing their A-game.

    So, rest up Bowman and don’t come back until you can come back strong. Best rivalry in football.

  11. I think it is time for the snow to melt so the Vike fans can go outside, they have been stuck in front of their computer screens too long. They need to do something than jump on stories about teams that are relevant.

    As a Hawk Fan, I hope Bowman get’s healthy fast. He is a great player, and it makes the NFCW tougher with him playing. Both teams need to be healthy for a couple more great battles next year. The Cards, and Rams are going to be tough too. This will be the toughest Div in FB next year. To follow up on the fools from above, the Vikes would be a distant 6th in this Div. The 5th place team would be the PS from the other 4 teams if they let them play.

  12. 65k True football fans in the stadium clapping for his return that day but they want to promote the .1% of those that don’t get it. Replace you QB and Mouth aka coach and you guys would have 8 Rings!
    Go Hawks

  13. Bowman got a fumble recovery and the officials robbed him. Terrible officiating in that game. Plus the phantom 15 yard penalty on Whitner, and the roughing the kicker penalty that wasn’t called. If the officials had done a good job, the Niners would have had their sixth Lombardi trophy.

  14. “If the officials had done a good job, blah blah blah…” Don’t you mean if Kaep wouldn’t have turned the ball over 3 times in 3 possessions?! Whiner fans are even more delusional than I had previously thought.

  15. Seahawks fan here, Bowman is a stud. The Niners linebackers are comparable to the Hawks DBs in the discussion of elite units in the game. Hate to see a guy hurt, hope he makes a full recovery.

  16. For whiner fans that keep whining bout the calls, remember
    that Lynch fumbled after the non-bowman call. Whiners got
    the ball at the 15yd line instead of the one.

    Also, whiners forget when kaep fumbled in the 3rd qtr at the Hawk
    35 yd line and Mebane was ready to pounce on
    on the rock, Kaep ILLEGALLYkicked the ball Forward!
    That should’ve been a 15 yd penalty. Instead, kaep throws the td on the next play and a 17-10 whiner lead…

    That was a GIFT 7 that shouldn’t have happened.

    Refs almost cost Seattle but the better team won!

    Ask Denver who the bullies of the NFL are?

    S E A T T L E S E A H A W K S

  17. Any fan of the Hawks, that wishes Bowman ill, is no friend of mine. I’ve been bleeding blue and green for 27-years. I once hated the Raiders. Today, I’ll trade insults with the Whiners.

    But I will not disrespect the players. Bowman got hurt playing the game. He put his money where his mouth is. He manned up, and played the game. It cost him. Respect him for the man and player he is.

  18. It’s almost like everyone forgot we have Patrick Willis.

    Bowman will be seriously missed, but c’mon, we got the best LB corp in the league to fall back on.

  19. Hate me some Harbaugh but man I love Bowman and Willis. Here’s hoping Navarro comes back as the same player he was!

  20. Hey folks…I was at the game. 49er fans were above the tunnel that Bowman was carted into. A handful of popcorn floated down onto Bowman’s cart. Don’t blame seahawk fans for this

  21. Just make sure Harbaugh doesnt seek advice from Shanahan. Bowman is good and you 49ers will need him to compete….. Not trash talking
    -seahawks fan

  22. Bowman hurt his knee bad. I really wonder if he will be the same player or if he’ll even be back at some point in the season. Doesn’t matter. Whiners won’t win a SB any way.

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