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49ers LB NaVorro Bowman To Return After Week 8?

 

According to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, the “smart money” is on 49ers LB NaVorro Bowman returning from his left-knee injury after the team’s bye in Week 8.

  • Barrows notes that Michael Wilhoite is the current front-runner to assume Bowman’s duties for the start of the 2014 season.
  • Barrows also lists Nick Moody, undrafted rookie Shayne Skov and third-round rookie Chris Borland as possible replacements as well.

Wilhoite has the most experience of the trio given that he has appeared in 21 games and made two start since 2011.

Bowman, 25, suffered a major knee injury in the NFC Championship game that saw him tear his left ACL and MCL.

Bowman signed a seven-year, $46.37 million contract that included $25.5 million guaranteed back in 2012. However, he recently converted $3.27 million of his $4 million base salary into a signing bonus.

When healthy, Bowman has proved to be one of the best linebackers in the league. In 2013, he totaled 145 tackles, five sacks, two interceptions, four forced fumbles and two recoveries for the 49ers.

Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 1 overall inside linebacker last season.