49ers expect Bowman to continue in role as team leader

49ers expect Bowman to continue in role as team leader

SANTA CLARA – Linebacker NaVorro Bowman is out for the season with a torn Achilles tendon, but 49ers defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil will still rely on him to contribute this season.

Bowman, a four-time first-team All-Pro player, will undergo surgery to repair his left Achilles, which was damaged Sunday on a non-contact play away from the ball in the 49ers’ 24-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

“It’s obviously a huge loss for our defense,” 49ers defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil said on Tuesday. “Any defense would miss his play-making ability, his presence on the football field. I’m confident in the guys in that room to step up.

“But I still see NaVorro being a good part of what we do here, as far as his leadership abilities in the classroom with the guys and his presence in the locker room. He’ll continue to take that role for us off the field. But he’s a guy we will definitely miss on the field.”

Inside linebacker Michael Wilhoite started Sunday’s game in place of Gerald Hodges, who started the first three games. Hodges played no snaps on defense, and he often did not have his helmet on while the defense was on the field.

O’Neil said Hodges’ benching was not due to disciplinary reasons.

“He’s one of my favorite guys on the team,” O’Neil said. “He’s a big part of what we do.”

Nick Bellore entered the game in the third quarter when Bowman was sidelined with the injury. Bellore appears to be in line to starting Thursday night against the Arizona Cardinals.

“Obviously, it’s tough news hearing that about Bow,” said Bellore, who has not started an NFL game in his six-year career. “He’s a leader in this locker room and more importantly on the field. He’s someone we all look up to. He’s a fighter. He’ll be back from this. But we have to be ready to step in, in the meantime.

“We’ll have to rally together and overcome him not being in there and we have to step up. It’s time for guys like myself and the linebacker room as a whole to step up.”

Jimmy Garoppolo knee injury isn't Taylor Swift's fault, and here's why

Jimmy Garoppolo knee injury isn't Taylor Swift's fault, and here's why

Jimmy Garoppolo was lost for the season Sunday when his left leg buckled as he tried to cut on the Arrowhead Stadium turf. So will there now be bad blood between 49ers fans and Taylor Swift?

Let us explain ...

Swift’s Sept. 8 show at Arrowhead set a stadium record for concert attendance with 58,611 -- set list here, for those interested. The immense crowd -- some of which stood on the natural grass playing field -- forced officials at the Chiefs' stadium to re-sod the turf, and just 15 days later, the 49ers were left with a blank space at starting quarterback after Garoppolo tore his ACL on that surface.

Kyle Shanahan wasn't happy about losing his QB, to say the least, and the 49ers coach mentioned the turf re-sodding when asked Monday if the team would review its training methods because of ACL tears for Garoppolo and running back Jerick McKinnon in the past month.

"People can, if they want. I personally think they're wasting time," Shanahan said of possible training program changes. "One guy made a cut in Kansas City on some re-sodded turf after a Taylor Swift concert -- I don't know if that had anything to do with it -- and the other guy made a cut on our practice field in the last play of practice. So, whatever information we get, it wouldn't affect me very much. We can't tell them to avoid Kansas City if we play there."

As Shanahan mentioned, no one knows if the turf conditions led to Garoppolo's season-ending injury, and it probably didn't. ACL tears, unfortunately, are commonplace in football, and correlation doesn't imply causation. Plus, a 2017 U2 concert at Arrowhead just five days before a Chiefs-Eagles game didn't lead to any documented catastrophic injuries.

So, Shanahan, the 49ers and The Faithful will have to stop wondering if this is why we can't have nice things, then just shake it off. There's 13 games left, and anything can happen in today's NFL.

Click to watch Shanahan's full press conference on YouTube

NFL co-rushing leader Matt Breida questionable vs. Chargers


NFL co-rushing leader Matt Breida questionable vs. Chargers

SANTA CLARA -- Running back Matt Breida, who is tied for the NFL’s rushing lead, is listed as questionable for the 49ers’ Week 4 game at the Los Angeles Chargers, head coach Kyle Shanahan said Monday.

Breida sustained a hyperextended right knee Sunday during the first half of the 49ers’ 38-27 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. He returned in the third quarter and finished with 90 yards on 10 carries. Breida on Monday also had some calf soreness, Shanahan said.

Shanahan made note of the playing surface at Arrowhead Stadium, which recently had been re-sodded after a Sept. 8 Taylor Swift concert. He said he wasn't sure if the turf had anything to do with the injuries to Breida or quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who tore the ACL in his left knee when he tried to make a cut near the left sideline to stay inbounds.

Entering the Monday night game, Breida is tied for the NFL lead with Dallas’ Ezekiel Elliott with 274 rushing yards on the season. Breida has carried the ball 32 times this season and is averaging 8.6 yards per attempt. Elliott has attempted 48 runs.

Shanahan gave other 49ers injury updates Monday:

-- Cornerback Richard Sherman has a calf strain and is expected to miss a couple of weeks.

-- Guard Mike Person has a knee sprain and is questionable for the game against the Chargers.

-- Guard Joshua Garnett still is nursing a toe injury and isn't expected to be available.

-- Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin made it through Sunday’s game healthy after sitting out Week 2 with a deep thigh bruise.

-- Safety Adrian Colbert sustained a hip injury and will be re-evaluated Wednesday.

-- Running back Alfred Morris had an ankle injury but returned to action. His practice availability will be determined Wednesday.

Click to watch Shanahan's full press conference on YouTube