The 49ers’ defensive leader had a tough day in the NFC Championship on Jan. 19. Not only did his team fall to the Seattle Seahawks, but in the fourth quarter he went down with a horrific leg injury that cut his day short.
Unfortunately for NaVorro Bowman, the San Francisco 49ers linebacker joined Kevin Ware and Anderson Silva on the list of athletes who have suffered gruesome injuries on national TV. During a crucial play in Jan. 19’s NFC Championship against the Seattle Seahawks, an opposing player fell on Bowman’s left leg, causing it to bend (and possibly break) in an extremely painful manner.
NaVorro Bowman Suffers Brutal Injury In 49ers-Seahawks Game
The score was 20-17 Seahawks, and they were approaching the goal line for a game-clinching score with 8:45 remaining in the game. But the 49ers fate seemed to swing when Bowman stripped the ball away from Seahawks receiver Jermaine Kearse at the one-yard line. That’s when chaos broke out.
Kearse was forcefully hit by 49ers safety Eric Reid and knocked into Bowman’s extended left leg. From the replays, it’s clear that Kearse’s weight and force caused Bowman’s leg to bend awkwardly inward, and you could see his face react and grimace in pain.
But it gets worse, after Bowman went to the ground, there was a scramble for the ball. And though it was clear that Bowman went down with the ball, referees determined that the Seahawks had recovered the fumble — a determination that is not reviewable by replay. So basically, Bowman put his body on the line all for nothing — he was robbed.
NaVorro Bowman’s Teammate: ‘I Never Heard Him Yell Like That’
Bowman was carted off the field after the frightening scene, and you could tell that the gruesome injury took a toll on his 49ers teammates.
“All of a sudden, I don’t know what happened,” fellow Niners linebacker Patrick Willis told the Associated Press. “I was looking at him and he didn’t have the ball anymore, he was holding his knee and yelling. That’s when, I don’t know, I kind of lost track of where the ball was and more so just worried about him. I never heard him yell like that, or even stay down for a moment.”
“Preliminary it looks like an ACL [tear],” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said after losing the game, 23-17. “Tough break for NaVorro.”
As with Kevin Ware and Anderson Silva’s injuries, this is something you just hate to see. And to get robbed like after putting in such effort — and to lose the game — must really throw salt in NaVorro’s wounds.
— Andrew Gruttadaro