NaVorro Bowman tears Achilles’ tendon, out for season


According to Adam Schefter, 49ers All-Pro inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman tore his Achilles’ tendon Sunday against the Cowboys and is out for the rest of the season.

What do you make of this injury? Do you think it might be related to his previous season-ending injury he suffered to his knee? And do you think he will play in the NFL ever again?

This article has 89 Comments

  1. The last of the old guard. Thank you for your service. Anytime you suffer an injury of that magnitude, it affects other muscle groups in the vicinity. Bowman’s salary no longer is commensurate with performance. I believe that’s the last you’ll see him in Scarlet and Gold. Fire up the helicopter and give Jamie Collins a ride in 2017 Free Agency….

    1. An Achilles’s tear is traditionally easier to come back from than a knee, so I think he’ll be back, but that is a lot of wear and tear to recover from and be what he used to be. He wasn’t the same guy before the latest injury so it stands to reason this may set him back even further.

  2. He’s a tough minded dude that is passionate about the game, so I wouldn’t put it past him coming back. But the mental toll his recovery from his knee injury took may make this one too much. Really feel sorry for the guy.

  3. It is sad to hear this news about Bowman. I don’t think his latest injury has anything to do with his knee injury but I’m no specialist. I do feel he will be back for 2017 season and can’t see why this would be his last season the 49ers.

  4. I can’t say for sure, but I think it was related to his knee injury. It was non contact.

    This reminds me of Derrick Rose. After his initial knee injury he hurt the other knee by putting too much pressure on it. Rose and Bowman didn’t fully trust their knee.

  5. This begs the burning question “why did Baalke extend Bowman prematurely?”

    My line of thinking that it was not because it made business sense, but because Baalke has blown it on so many other personnel decisions that prematurely renewing Bowman’s contract would be something that he could hold up as evidence of his great personnel decisions, because all he has to hold onto are a few legacy decisions that panned out. Now even this decision has come back to bite him.

    Will Bowman ever be the same? Will he too want to retire after this injury? Have we drafted anyone that can offer a sliver of hope at this position? Hopefully by the time we know the answers, Baalke will be some other team’s water boy.

    1. Bowman’s extension was a PR move, as much as anything else.

      What gets lost in the move though is that there is an option bonus in both 2017 and 2018, which I don’t believe is fully guaranteed (would be strange to have an option guaranteed). He also only has 40% of his salary the next two seasons fully guaranteed. Add to that a small signing bonus, and the cap hit if he retires or they let him go isn’t that bad. Though I am not sure what sort of injury guarantees he has.

    2. I agree with you guys, but I also think it has to do with the way this organization handled the harbaugh firing. No one wanted to come here after that, coaches and players alike. We tried to sign Crabtree and offered more money than the Raiders, he said no way. Tried to bring in Sean Smith….he said no way too. Instead what we got were leftovers. My point is at the time of the signing Bowman was good to go, who else are we gonna bring in that wants to play here of that caliber? Panic move to sign him?… the end I just think he was desperate for some form of continuity cause he wasn’t gonna get the help from elsewhere.

  6. What do you make of this injury? – Terrible. What horrible luck. Bad for Bowman. Bad for the 49ers, who recently extended his contract.

    Makes me consider all injuries, not just the non-contact injury Bowman suffered yesterday.

    Players are getting bigger, stronger, faster every year. The NFL is approaching a tipping point as marquee players get hurt earlier and earlier. Football started as a grappling sport with “tackles.” It evolved into a striking sports emphasizing “hits.” Is there a way to return football to its grappling roots without getting the game of its most interesting moments?

    Do you think it might be related to his previous season-ending injury he suffered to his knee?
    Not sure. The ACL must have changed his gait. A year off, then two years back on could stress the body. Hard to tell.

    And do you think he will play in the NFL ever again? I’m leaning no. Achilles is a big, big deal.

    1. Absolutely on point. Players are just too big these days. Our early 80’s linemen were 265. Now 325 is small.
      You get back to the hits with less injury by being smaller. Walsh wanted to send Bubba to rehab as he approached 300.
      Otoh, presently Bowman’s injury was non contact. But the knee blowout in the NFCCG Seahawks scrum was a bunch of these 330lb guys landing on him.

      1. It was Jerome Kearse, who was hit by a 49er DB and then fell into Bowman’s, blowing out his knee, Marshawn Lynch who tried to take the ball from him while he was lying on the ground, in agony, and Seattle fans who threw food on him as he was going into the stadium tunnel on a cart.

  7. Achilles is nowhere near as debilitating as the ACL. He should be back from this within 9 months, ready to go for the entire season in 2017.

  8. This injury is a tough one. It took Crabtree two years to get back to playing at a high level. The Rock went into wrestling after his injury. Kobe was never right after his injury, although he was pretty old at the time.

  9. Does anybody else find it concerning that Lynch lost 30lbs over the past few weeks… to get to 270lbs? What the heck was he doing at around 300lbs in the first place?

    1. Haha did you see his explanation? Sympathy weight from his wife’s pregnancy. I’m not making that up either. “Lynch said his weight ballooned due to a bad diet that coincided with his wife’s pregnancy.”

  10. Bowman was great. This year he was a liability. The team is better to lose him now than to continue with his downward trending performances. It is situations such as these that force the hands of the organization into working outside the lines. In the case of the 49ers organization, anything that forces the ownership’s hand appears to be all arrows up.
    The team has a capable practice squad LB that can be promoted as well as the timing return of Lynch.
    I think the loss does very little to the status of the team. The problems are much bigger than an aging LB who was one of the best at his position.

  11. Well ..

    When Bowman got hurt the first time .. it was bad..
    very bad …

    Not many counted on him coming back..
    but he did … and he did it while leading
    the NFL in tackles … on a bottom tier team less

    While I’m thankful for Bowman giving his
    all to the red n gold … I’m not sure .. he’s
    ready to pack it in …

    It wouldn’t surprise me .. if he came back in ’17 ..
    but… if he rides off into the sunset … then..
    I’d thank him for allowing me watch a player
    all these years .. with the biggest heart on the team …

    Tenacity is what flows through that man’s veins !

    1. What you forgot to say: “However, Trent Baalke will be making that top 3 pick, which means he’ll trade back in order to nab 4 wheelchair-bound players with complete tears of their ACL and/or MCL in later rounds, all of which will become NFL washouts. “

      1. It’s like the star player on a bad basketball team, someone needs to score. In this case someone needed to make tackles.

      2. According to PFF grading, last season was Bowman’s lowest. By a lot. Bowman was great in 2011 and played at a consistently high level for 2012 and 2013. His grade so far for 2016 was pretty close to his ’12 & ’13 level so it looks like he was nearly back to full form before this injury.

        I won’t say he’s done in the league but he’ll be 30 years old by the time he’s fully recovered from this injury. Being older only diminishes the chances of recovering to 100% so he’ll be 30+ and not playing at 100%. It’s going to be a tough road for him if he wants to continue in the league.

  12. I said it before and I am going to say it again.

    After the first game of the season on Monday night, the players had to travel coast to coast with 3 hours time zone different to play another game in the morning did not their bodies to fully recovered. A tired body will be prone to injury without contact. I used to work as a Physical Ed assistant and I saw it happen to so many well-conditioned athletes. I don’t care how good your training is. There is always a physical limitation with the body. The first 2 games really damaged the 49ers the most. Once you miss a day or 2 of complete rest from the first game on, the rest of the reason may be in jeopardy. You definitely won’t even be at par with the other teams physically.

  13. I hope Bowman can comeback the Niners need his leadership and he is still a good LB.
    Don’t care about his salary with 40M available it won’t impact keeping or getting players. I much prefer Bowman get the money than Jed.

  14. don’t forget that Lynch has lost 40+ lbs during his absence. Hope that he does not get injured soon. Losing 40 lbs without gaining strength in playing a violent game will be disaster in making. Will he be effective in pushing those 300+ lbs tackles

  15. I feel bad for Bowman and hopefully he has the strength and desire to see his career through. On the other hand this year already feels like a huge waste… With hopeful changes on the horizon (DO THE NECESSARY JED), this is probably as good a time as any to be injured. He really won’t miss much assuming he wants to keep playing football next year for this once proud franchise.

  16. My heart hopes Bowman comes back but my head says he’s done. I have so much respect and admiration for the man so I hope he returns to all pro form. My eyes tell me his speed and athleticism have taken a serious dip since his knee injury. This achilles injury will be very difficult to recover from and return to the same level.

  17. I hate this for Bowman. He is a great 49.

    With his loss we will have the ball run down our throats every game until we show we can stop it. I don’t think we will be able.

  18. Maybe someone could inform me of how the scouting department works..I really can’t wait for the day that Baalke is gone and I know he has the ultimate say but could we just have really bad scouts?Does anyone know anything about our scouting department?

    1. If the scouts are really bad, it is still on Baalke for not replacing them with good scouts. It’s been several years now of poor to fair drafts.

  19. Achilles is an age injury. Very hard to fully recover from. This is why you don’t sign an aging MLB to an extension with 3 years left on his deal!
    When your rebuilding you have to admit it & get young.

    First move Dump Baalke

  20. Sorry to hear about Bowman. The loss of such a team leader cannot be downplayed.

    Sigh, I guess a 4 or 5 win season may be inevitable.

    1. Despite how bad the D has been over the past 3 weeks, there are still 9 teams with more points against than the 49ers, including every team in the NFC South.

    1. I tend to agree… I still ask myself why were the Yorks so quick to fire the only two winning head coaches (Mariucci and Harbaugh) under their 16 years of ownership? They’ve run this team into the ground, treat it as a business and it shows… If Bowman wants a ring he won’t be getting it with this sorry organization void of leadership.

  21. Read in the national press this morming that some players in the locker room want Kaep as the QB.
    Might as well fold up the tent when real or imagened discord is reported on a team and only after 4 games. What a long, long season this is going to be.

  22. Pick’em League results through week 4:

    CFC 38
    Pot_Kettle 37
    dlptown 37
    DRogue 36
    rocket 36
    #80 35
    JPN001 35
    Rick 33
    ninermd 32
    Steelmatic 31
    Shoup 29
    EastCoast9er 28

    Past two weeks have been brutal.

  23. Finally, someone else is keeping track of 49er weird Stats.

    Matt Barrows is counting plays, however, in reverse….Most stats track the offense. Barrows has been running a season-long stat entitled, Snap Count that counts defensive snaps.

    The 49ers defense was on the field for 76 snaps Sunday, the third “high-snap” game they have endured in a row. In Week 2, the Panthers offense ran 83 plays. Last week the Seahawks had 70. By contrast, the 49ers offense ran 53 plays against the Cowboys.

    Read more here:

  24. “That defensive snap count was monitored closely when Chip Kelly was the head coach in Philadelphia and was blamed for the Eagles’ lapses over the last three seasons.”

    M. Barrows

  25. Damon Bruce:

    “The Chicago Bears would never move from the city of Chicago because they understand that civic connections are important. The 49ers have completely fractured their civic connections.

    The 49ers have completely taken a dump on their fans with that stadium and with that product that their rolling out.

    I feel sorry for coach, Chip Kelly I think I’ve seen enough. If I’m Kelly I’m out of here…There’s going to be an opening at Texas, USC and possibly Oregon…

      1. Me either. York needs to clean house at the end of the year, and by that I mean fire Baalke, Kelly and most of his staff. Give Brian Kelly what he wants by making him GM/HC and then go get him Schiano as his DC….

      2. You should never feel sorry for a guy who is going to make a lot of money whether he finishes the contract or not, but there isn’t enough talent here for Kelly to run his system the way he has elsewhere.

        I’m not a big Kelly fan by any means, but if you bring him in and give him the contract they did, then you better get him what he needs to be successful. This is a team built for a Parcells type of game and even then it’s lacking. It’s not surprising the offense has struggled without players that fit the Kelly system.

        If they fire him, it’s going to have to be with the understanding he has a College job setup because there is no way York is going to eat 4 more years along with Tomsula’s remaining money.

        Also keep in mind that another Coaching change means another year backward and starting over. It also makes the 49ers almost toxic to perspective Coaching candidates.

        Razor, the way the Yorks feel about ND, there is no way they will try to lure Kelly away, and honestly I think the guy is overrated anyway. If they truly want to turn this thing around and go back to their roots, they need to fire Baalke, hire a GM with a proven track record or a candidate who has links to one, and hire Kyle Shanahan to bring the WCO back to where it belongs.

        1. Rocket, Brian Kelly’s strength is player development, as evidenced by his ability to crank out 1st and 2nd round players at the skill positions. His offense is a power spread attack with spread I-formations. The object is to pound the middle of the field with the run, attack the perimeter with screens and then unleash the vertical option routes. He also utilizes dread-wing concepts which bring about situational dominance in the running game. The first ingredient and most important is a quarterback that can run inside as well as an efficient passer. Next ingredient is a pair of versatile slot receivers that are equally capable of running quick routes, vertical routes, sweeps, and screens. The outside receivers and offensive line have the same duties as in any other offensive system. The fullback/h-back is another critical ingredient which gives it it’s multiplicity and power in the running game, while at the same time allowing the passing game to send multiple receivers into pro patterns. All this from a six-man protection scheme. Saban called a spread offense that had a quarterback that was able to run inside, the 11th gap because of the numbers advantage. The only way to attempt to defend it is not have anyone deep. Given the geometry of the formation, it’s difficult to get bodies in the path of the QB when he’s taking the snap and firing off on lead runs behind a lead blocker. I think Brian Kelly’s offense and Schiano’s defense can establish a tough minded team that can compete against Pete Carroll’s….

          1. Not saying he’s a bad HC Razor, I just haven’t been impressed with what he’s done overall at ND. As you mentioned, they have had some high end players come out of there but it hasn’t translated to Notre Dame winning as much as they should with that talent.

            I just don’t think it’s wise to replace a guy who’s greatest success came in College with another College Coach. I think they need to hire somebody who’s been Coaching in the NFL and I’d prefer to see them go back to the WCO.

            1. Kizer is going number one or two, and Kelly developed him. I’m telling you, sooner rather than later, Brian Kelly is going to get an opportunity by an astute NFL owner to be a successful head coach in the National Football League….

              1. I don’t doubt he’ll get an opportunity, but as I said, his win loss record leaves a lot to be desired. It’s one thing to recruit good talent that moves on to the NFL, but if you can’t Coach that talent to win in the College ranks, what does that say about your ability to use the talent effectively?

                Also keep in mind some of the best QB’s in the NFL, came out of programs where the HC wouldn’t even be considered for a HC job in the NFL. Big difference between recruiting and Coaching and in College you can often win just by having the more talented roster.

              2. “…his win loss record leaves a lot to be desired”.

                Not sure why you keep repeating this, Rocket.

                Kelly was 118-35-2 (.768) at Grand Valley State from 1991-2003, followed by 19-16 (.543) at Central Michigan from 2004-06, then 34-6 (.850) at Cincinnati from 2007-09 and 55-23 (.705) at Notre Dame the past six years for a 226-80-2 (.737) total. The next 5 coaches, Texas State’s Dennis Franchione (213-135-2), Kansas State’s Bill Snyder, (193-101-1), Alabama’s Nick Saban (191-60-1), Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops (180-46), Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson (168-83). Of those 5, three have coached only at the Football Bowl Subdivision level, Saban, Stoops and Snyder. Kelly had more years at GVSU (13) than in the FBS (12). The total in the FBS will be matched this season with his seventh year at Notre Dame. Now if he does indeed finish out his contract for ND and averages 10 to 11 wins per season (after averaging nine his first six years), he will close in on that rare jewel of 300 college football wins at any level that has been achieved by only a dozen coaches. From 2006-2015 in which Brian Kelly has coached at the FBS level, his 98-33 record for a .748 winning percentage does ingratiate him with some pretty cool dudes. Those 98 wins represent the 7th most victories during that time frame. Leading the way is none other than Washington’s Chris Petersen’s 107 (92-12 at Boise State while a more level 15-12 at Washington). He is followed by none other than the legends, Saban with 105, and Ohio State’s Meyer — although both achieved it in only nine years, with Saban in the NFL in 2006 and Meyer taking a sabbatical in 2011. The rest, Stoops (104), LSU’s Les Miles (101) and TCU’s Gary Patterson (100).

              3. I’m talking about his time at ND Razor. He’s consistently had one of the most talented teams in the country and has only been to two major bowl games losing both. He’s had three 8 win seasons and is currently 2-3 with a team that should be a lot better. I don’t see great NFL HC here.

              4. I don’t see great NFL HC here

                Take off the blinders. All he needs is a major bowl win to add to his resume.

                He’s had three 8 win seasons and is currently 2-3 with a team that should be a lot better.

                He’s averaged 9 wins a year in the 6 he’s been here. The offense hasn’t been a problem this year. He should have gotten rid of Van Gorder a long time ago. If he had a quality DC, he would have already won a major bowl game….

              5. Blinders? No Blinders here. I’m basing this on what he’s done as the HC of ND, and a 9 win average is not overly impressive. Kelly has a more talented team than most of the opponents he faces. In College you win a number of games based on that advantage alone. He hasn’t shown an ability to beat the top programs he’s faced or even get to a major bowl to play them most years.

              6. Yea, it’s a good thing he doesn’t have any big name college recruitment programs in his backyard to compete with. It’s just not in the Pac-12; > )

  26. Damon Bruce:

    And the 49ers have been gallactically stupid! Name one thing Jed York has done right….

    “The only thing right yoiu’ve done is hire Jim Harbaugh for a minute until someone whispered in you ear to fire him because we only hang Championship Banners (gallactically stupid)–

    You better not even hang banners for running routes to the markers. You can’t even pick up a 4 yard first down, because your QB throws the ball 3 yards!!!

  27. Damon Bruce:

    49ers: “Your an injury away from having all waiver wire acquistions at the skill positions….Kerley!!! He might be the best skill position player on the team and you found him on 5 minutes before the season started.!

  28. A real loss. Navarro is a stand-up guy, honest, holds himself accountable, selfless to the end, quiet but strong leadership. Lotta heart, not run by ego.

    Everything Jed and Trent are not. repeat…ARE NOT.

    1. A huge loss. I miss him already.

      The defense is going to miss him as teams run down their throats. It is going to get ugly.

      I have never been a fan of playing for a high draft pick. However, it seems certain that we will be drafting within the top 10 in 2017. That thought fills me with dread. Does anybody on this thread have confidence that Baalke, with a top 10 pick, can draft a difference maker?

      If Baalke is cut lose, so what? Gamble will be elevated to GM because Jed is only comfortable hiring from the inside. He seems to be a competent personnel man, but he is in the big body in the trenches Parcells mode of building a team.

      Grant, I know you have alluded to this before, but I would like to consider writing an article examining the Parcells model and how we, the originators of the west coast offense, are emulating Parcells rather than Walsh.

      1. Never understood how we’ve gone so far away from our roots..Even with Harbaugh offense has been a distant memory around these parts since Marriucci was around..seems like Jed has an ego problem and wants his own legacy instead of anything connected to the old Niners..He’s making a legacy allright…as the person to take one of sports greatest franchises and nose dive it straight into the ground at high speed!

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