Long week refreshes 49ers' NaVorro Bowman: 'I feel 100 times better'


Long week refreshes 49ers' NaVorro Bowman: 'I feel 100 times better'

SANTA CLARA – The long week was good for 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman.

The 49ers’ defense was on the field for 79 snaps in the team’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sept. 17. Four days later, the 49ers looked worn down in a 41-39 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night.

Bowman, 29, said he feels a lot more fresh heading into Week 4 against the Arizona Cardinals after missing the final 12 games last season after sustaining a torn Achilles tendon.

“I feel great. I feel 100 times better,” Bowman said on Wednesday. “I feel like we’ve had time to rest up and play a full 60-minute game.”

Bowman is tied with linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong for the team-lead with 20 tackles through three games. But his five missed tackles is also tied with Armstrong, according to Pro Football Focus. Four of Bowman’s missed tackles have been in the passing game.

“From myself, it’s just getting back in the flow,” Bowman said. "It’s been a while, so this being my third game, understanding the scheme and trying to absorb the offense have been my biggest challenges -- trying to do those two things at once. And I feel like I’m getting more comfortable.”

As Bowman gets more settled in Robert Saleh’s defense, he prepares this week to face a familiar offense. The Cardinals will not have the services of running back David Johnson, who is on injured reserve as he recovers from wrist surgery. Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is still the favored offensive weapon of quarterback Carson Palmer.

“They’re pretty much the same as they’ve been over the years, trying to get Larry the ball,” Bowman said. “David’s down, so Chris Johnson is back there. I’ve played against him a few times. As far as their mindset, it’s run the ball to open up the pass.”

Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'


Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'

NEW YORK — The NFL is not changing its national anthem policy to require players to stand during the national anthem.

Commissioner Roger Goodell and several owners said Wednesday at the league’s fall meetings that altering the language from “should stand” to “must stand” was not discussed.

New York Giants owner John Mara noted that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones “spoke at length” to the other owners about the anthem issue. Jones has said any Dallas player who doesn’t stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” would not be playing.

Goodell reiterated that the league and its 32 clubs “believe everyone should stand for the national anthem. It’s an important part of our policy and the game. It’s important to honor our flag and our country and I think our fans expect that.”

Asked about any owners who threatened discipline for players who didn’t stand, Goodell said the owners didn’t discuss it.

“There was a fair amount of conversation and I think our clubs see it the same way. I can’t deal with hypotheticals,” Goodell said.

Reminded that President Donald Trump tweeted again Wednesday about the demonstrations during the anthem, Goodell said there was nothing unpatriotic about his league.

“Everyone feels strongly about our country and have pride,” he said, adding the NFL is “not afraid of tough conversations.

“What we are trying to stay out of is politics.”

Goodell noted that only six or seven players are still kneeling or are involved in protests.

“We hope we will continue to work to put that at zero,” he said.

On Tuesday, in an unprecedented move for a league meeting, a group of 11 owners and more than a dozen players met for more than two hours at NFL headquarters. Among the topics discussed was enhancing the players’ platforms for speaking out on social issues.

“I understand the way they feel about these issues,” Goodell said Wednesday. “We feel the same about patriotism and the flag and I believe our players feel that way. We have a great deal of support for the efforts of our players.”

Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem


Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is again criticizing the NFL over players kneeling during the national anthem.

Trump said on Twitter Wednesday that the “NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem.”

He adds: “Total disrespect for our great country!”

Trump appeared to be responding to the NFL annual fall meeting on Tuesday. The league invited players and representatives from their union to discuss social issues.

The topic of the national anthem was not discussed at length. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said owners did not ask players to commit to standing during the anthem.

Trump has suggested the owners should “fire” any players who knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”