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NaVorro Bowman among the league leaders in May jersey sales

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This is an interesting development given his absence last season.

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The San Francisco 49ers are hoping for big things from linebacker NaVorro Bowman this fall as he continues his return from his early 2014 knee injury. It would appear 49ers fans are just as excited, if not more so. The numbers were released for top jersey sales from May, and Bowman is actually in the top 15.

It is not surprising to see Colin Kaepernick up toward the top, but I have to admit I am a little surprised Bowman is No. 14. He is a great linebacker, and a great jersey choice, but given his absence, it is a little bit of a surprise. My guess is that 49ers fans have heard reports of his return to practice, and that in turn has led to more jersey purchases. Add in the retirements of Patrick Willis, Chris Borland and Justin Smith, as well as the free agency departures of Frank Gore and Michael Crabtree, and it makes a little more sense.

As the 49ers move into the coming season, there are a few players who could emerge as big jersey sales. If Carlos Hyde develops into a strong running back, I could see him up there. Aldon Smith could emerge to some degree if he gets back to his high sack totals and stays out of trouble. A lot though will depend on if the team is able to bounce back from last season. If they struggle again that will likely hurt jersey sales.