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Teammates distraught over NaVorro Bowman injury

NaVorro Bowman

San Francisco 49ers’ NaVorro Bowman is taken to the locker room on a cart after injuring his leg during the second half of the NFL football NFC Championship game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Marcio Jose Sanchez

NaVorro Bowman won’t be able to celebrate an incredible season in Hawaii this week, after suffering a torn ACL in last night’s NFC Championship Game loss to the Seahawks.

But the 49ers linebacker was still making an impression on his teammates, after hanging on to what appeared to be a fumble (though it wasn’t reviewed) while suffering a dramatic and traumatic injury.

“I know how tough he is,” 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis said, via Matt Maiocco of “When he couldn’t get up on his own and I could hear him yelling, at that point I didn’t even care where the ball was.”

Bowman’s season was an incredible one, as he develop into an equivalent, if not better version of Willis inside. And his teammate hopes that’s recognized when awards get handed out later.

“If he doesn’t get Defensive Player of the Year, I don’t know what they go by,” Willis said. “Most important, I just pray he’s all right. I just saw him a little bit after the game.

“I know that he wanted nothing more than to be out there and finish that game with us. Win, lose or draw, I know he wanted to be there with us. He’s going to be all right. He’s strong mentally and physically strong.”

He’ll have to be, as he now has an offseason to spend rehabbing, to try to get back to the high level he and the team reached.