The San Francisco 49ers made a host of offseason roster moves, but one of the biggest additions to the roster could be the return of linebacker NaVorro Bowman. Last October, Bowman tore his Achilles, ending his season after four weeks. He has been rehabbing since, and on Thursday confirmed he has been going full speed since the offseason workout program.
Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch were optimistic about Bowman’s status, and by all accounts, he was making good progress during the workout program. Bowman said they weren’t going through lackadaisical practices, so he was able to test out the leg regularly during the spring (audio).
I’ve been full speed. I’ve done everything throughout minicamp. Those practices that we had, those weren’t lackadaisical practices. We got after it. Coaches wanted to see what we kind of players we had. Practicing without pads I think is harder than practicing with pads because you have to protect your teammates but also get your job done. I’ve completed that, I’ve stood tall with all the workouts. The Achilles is fine, I’m not worried about that.
It remains to be seen how he will look when pads go on and he is facing opponents in the preseason, but this is a big step in the right direction for him. A second major leg injury in three seasons is certainly concerning for how he will handle moving around on the field. But if Bowman is able to recover his speed, that will be a huge lift for a defense that struggled big time last season after he was lost for the year.