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NaVorro Bowman embracing change in return from knee injury

NaVorro Bowman


Before 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman’s left knee blew up during the NFC Championship game in January 2014, getting ready to play in a game or take part in a practice took him no time at all.

That’s not the case anymore. Bowman told Peter King of that it takes him about two hours of massaging, bending, flexing and, finally, relaxing his surgically-repaired knee before it is ready for him to get on the field. He did all of that work for three plays against the Cowboys on Sunday night, but it appeared to be worth it as Bowman made three tackles, two for losses, in his long-awaited return to the field.

Getting his knee ready isn’t the only change that Bowman’s encountering in his return to the field. He says the year off the field gave him a new perspective on the game by making him “a student of game” and credited that cerebral approach with getting him in position to thwart Dallas’s offensive efforts.

There’s also the different look around the locker room after an offseason that saw many faces familiar to Bowman head out of town
“I embrace change,” Bowman said. “We all have to adapt to change. The coaches have jobs, we have jobs. The fact that they need me as a player and as a leader, that’s what drives me also.”

For all Bowman’s comfort with change, the best case scenario for the 49ers is that his return to the field gives them back the same player they were missing in 2014 because they need someone to build around on defense this season.