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Bosa cherishes his return to field after depressing year

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SANTA CLARA -- Big things were expected last season from defensive end Nick Bosa, coming off a dynamic rookie year.

But Bosa’s second NFL season ended just 11 snaps into the 49ers’ second game of the season.

Bosa sustained a torn ACL in the 49ers’ Week 2 game against the New York Jets. After surgery came months and months of physical therapy.

Bosa told NBC Sports Bay Area that it took a while for him to get his mind right after experiencing the disappointment of football being taken away from him for an extended period of time.

“It definitely takes time,” Bosa said. “Initially, I was pretty depressed, and it wasn’t too good for me or anybody around me. I wasn’t very fun to be around.

"But once your body starts feeling better, your mind follows.”

Bosa has known since an early age that football was his destiny. At seven, when his parents wanted to hold off a year or two before allowing him to play tackle football, Bosa threw a fit on the floor of the family’s kitchen in the Miami area.

His mother, Cheryl, described in a 2019 interview the scene of young Nick’s meltdown and the words he screamed through the tears

“If you don’t let me play football, I’m going to die -- I ... will ... die ... if you don’t let me play football!”

Bosa has little memory of the event, but he does not question the veracity of the story.

 

“I do think it happened, yeah,” he said, “but I can’t say I remember it perfectly. But it sounds like something I’d do at that point.”

That is why there were times a year ago he felt the same way as football was taken away from him for an extended period of time.

“It’s really awesome to be a part of this,” Bosa said. “It’s definitely been a dream since I was little. I’ve definitely learned to not take every day for granted."

RELATED: A pre-2019 draft profile on how Nick Bosa was drawn to football

Bosa appears to have come back as an even better player. He registered 13 sacks in 19 games as a rookie, including four in three postseason games. Bosa was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

This season, Bosa has seven sacks in the 49ers’ first seven games.

“I’m really really happy just to be doing it again,” he said. “I’m feeling really good physically, and I think the team is starting to trend upward. So I’m happy with all of that. And I’m happy with how I’ve played. But definitely, I need to keep steadily improving.”

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