Fooch's Update: Jim Harbaugh said Bowman will not practice this week. He will go through rehab on the field, and in the training room and weight room.
The San Francisco 49ers returned to practice on Tuesday with a walkthrough session. According to CSN Bay Area's Dave Feldman, linebacker NaVorro Bowman did not practice during the session. The 49ers will release their first practice participation report Wednesday afternoon, but Bowman will not appear because he is not on the 53-man roster at this point. However, media will be present for the individual portion of practice. Media are not present during the Tuesday walkthrough, so they could potentially see Bowman doing more work in the individual portion of Wednesday's session.
The 49ers activated Bowman's practice window on Tuesday, which gives them 21 days to decide whether or not to get him back on the 53-man roster. The team has until December 9 to either activate him to the roster, place him on season-ending injured reserve, or release him. I think we can safely say the third option is not in fact an option.
Bowman underwent an MRI last week, and all indications were that there was no structural damage to his knee. However, a few days prior to that MRI, Ed Werder reported that Bowman told him he was still dealing with some pain in the knee. There was no detail on what kind of pain exactly, and whether or not it was something to be expected at this point in his recovery.
Whatever the case, the 49ers have three weeks to figure out what they will do with Bowman. They are getting strong play from Chris Borland and Michael Wilhoite, but I don't think that necessarily changes how things will work with Bowman. by that, I mean that I don't think they would be rushing to get him back if both were struggling. He has a specific timeline in place, and if he is still working through some pain issues, or anything else for that matter, the 49ers would not rush him back. They have invested a lot in Bowman, and if it means waiting for him to return in 2015, so be it.
I've included a poll below. Do you think Bowman is back this year? My vote right now would be no, but really I am on the fence. I think there's a 50-50 chance he returns, and my vote could probably change several times between now and the December 9 deadline. How do you see this situation playing out?