SANTA CLARA -– The grisly knee injury that sidelined 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman for more than a year is not the only thing he has thought about from that January 2014 day.
Bowman, a three-time All-Pro linebacker, will return to Seattle for his first game there since the NFC Championship game. He said he plans to return to the exact location near the north end zone where the injury occurred.
And he also remembers having popcorn thrown on him as he was being carted off the field.
“I remember it, and that’s been with me for a while,” Bowman said on Friday. “No matter who gets hurt, you want to make sure they get back up on their feet and show some sign of respect that I don’t think the Seahawks fans did that at all.
“So, ‘You can’t keep a good man down,’ is my message to them.”
When asked if Bowman heard from Seahawks fans after the incident, he answered, “No, I didn’t. I heard (Richard) Sherman did something, but no fans have reached out at all.”
Sherman addressed the incident while writing an article on MMQB.com shortly after the game, in which the Seahawks won, 23-17, and advanced to the Super Bowl.
“One thing I can't accept is what I read after the game about Seahawks fans throwing food at 49ers linebacker Navorro Bowman as he was being carted off the field with his knee injury. If it’s true, it’s beyond terrible. That’s as low as it gets. I’m sure whoever did this is in a small minority of fans, because I don’t think that kind of action is an accurate representation of the character of the 12th man. Navorro Bowman is a great player who plays the game the right way. When he went down, I dropped to a knee and prayed for him. He deserves better than having food thrown at him as he’s carted off a field. All players deserve better than that.”
Another of Bowman’s regrets is that he did not hold onto the ball after he forced a fumble of Seahawks receiver Jermaine Kearse at the 49ers’ one-yard line. After Bowman’s knee was blown out –- and he was clearly down on his back -– Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch took the ball away from Bowman.
Bowman said he thinks about that fumble.
“I wanted to get the ball, and the pain kind of took over or I guess me letting the ball go was just me realizing I was really hurt severely,” Bowman said. “That’s just something is in a football player. The knee is already gone, so holding onto the ball is what I wish I would’ve did to help my team win.”
The 49ers actually held the Seahawks on a fourth-down play, but the Seahawks used the field position to kick a field goal on their next possession.
Bowman said his focus will be on helping the 49ers win Sunday’s game, but he will have plenty of other thoughts, too.
“I just want to win, but of course some emotions will be inside of me,” Bowman said. “(I) plan on revisiting the spot where I went down at and thanking God for a chance to be back out there.”
Gif via Guyism.com