Fooch's Update: PFT is now reporting a source indicated the MRI shows a torn ACL and MCL.
The San Francisco 49ers suffered some tough injuries on Sunday, with NaVorro Bowman injuring his knee and Mike Iupati injuring his ankle. Iupati reportedly fractured his ankle. We'll have to wait and see if there is any word on ligament damage as well, but if it is just a fractured ankle, it's not the end of the world.
After Sunday's game, head coach Jim Harbaugh said the preliminary report on Bowman was that he suffered a torn ACL. Pro Football Talk is now reporting a league source says the 49ers fear Bowman tore both his ACL and his MCL. If this turns out to be true, his surgery and recovery timeline is further complicated.
A torn ACL would require surgery and then rehab. If both the MCL and ACL are torn, Bowman is likely going to have to wait on surgery. We'll get into further detail on this as more is known, but it is likely he would need to let the MCL heal, and then have the ACL surgery. If that is the case, his rehab timeline gets pushed back. Last year, Rob Gronkowski tore his ACL and MCL in Week 14 of the 2012 season. He did not have surgery for a month because he had to wait for the MCL to heal.
Based on the current timeline, the odds are pretty high that Bowman opens the season on the PUP list. That would keep Bowman out the first month and a half of the season before the window opens to activate him. His offseason absence likely means big things for Michael Wilhoite.
The 49ers reserve linebacker has filled in before, and should be back next season. He is an "exclusive rights" free agent. That basically means he will sign a one-year deal for whatever the 49ers offer him. He has not right of negotiation with any other team, so it's play for the 49ers, or sit out the season. Obviously he won't sit out the season. But this will be a huge offseason for him as he prepares for the biggest role of his young career.
We don't want to forget about Bo, of course. We wish him the best luck in what hopefully is a speedy recovery. The 49ers had developed the best 1-2 linebacker punch across the entire NFL. It will be back in place in the future, but for now, we just wait and hope. You know he will be motivated to return, and Patrick Willis will be there in any way he can. These two have become close friends, with Willis apparently serving as godfather to Bo's twin daughters.
NaVorro Bowman will be back.