The San Francisco 49ers rotated their linebackers in and out during the game in Indianapolis. At one point Brock Coyle was the only linebacker on the field. NaVorro Bowman, who is usually in for 100% of defensive snaps seemed flummoxed by the rotation and had no answer when asked why after the game.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan mentioned that part of the rotation was due to a stinger that Bowman had incurred during the game. Bowman confirmed the injury but still did not understand why he was taken out of the game, replying “I don’t know” a few times.
Here’s the video, the first question was asking about tackling former teammate Frank Gore.
This has been a tough season for Bowman, coming back from his second season ending injury in his career. At 29, he felt the effects of 80 snaps in Seattle when playing a game just four days later facing the Rams, but it seemed he was a rejuvenated player in Arizona following 10 days of rest.
The coaching staff spoke to Bowman prior to the game to tell him their plan to limit his snap counts but when asked to explain:
We, um, we had a converastion and, I don't know. They are doing what they want to do and, I don’t know. I don’t like it. No one likes coming out of the game but I’m a team player.
They told me, but it’s just hard to do that in the midst of a tough game and no player likes getting taken out so, I don't know.
When asked about understanding the rationale of his rotation, Bowman simply replied “I don't know.”
Bowman has kept a positive mentality throughout the five loss span and still thinks that the team has yet to reach it’s potential. He added that this team “has no quit.” and that they are all professionals. He has been making sure that the young players look at themselves to make sure they are executing their jobs, making plays that come to them. Making sure the defense keeps it’s focus could rest Bowman’s shoulders. An unhappy Bowman could potentially alter the mentality of the the team. His snap count next week in Washington will be interesting to see.