49ers believe NaVorro Bowman will be cleared for start of on-field work

Getty Images

49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman said in February that he was encouraged by the progress he was making in his return from the torn Achilles tendon that ended his 2016 season after four games and it seems things have continued to improve over the last two months as well.

During a press conference after Monday’s start to the team’s offseason program, head coach Kyle Shanahan said that he believes Bowman will be cleared to join the team for on-field work when they move into the second phase of their offseason schedule in two weeks. The first two weeks are limited to work with strength and conditioning coaches while phase two involves on-field, non-contact drills with all coaches.

Bowman is one of the few 49ers left from the franchise’s better days under Jim Harbaugh and he was able to bounce back without losing much from the knee injury that kept him out for the entire 2014 season.

During his own meeting with the media, defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said, via Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group, that “extreme physicality” was what he was looking for from his unit. A similar return to form for Bowman would help bring that about in 2017.