SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco 49ers have opened All-Pro linebacker NaVarro Bowman’s 21-day practice window. Bowman, previously on the team’s Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, will now have until December 9 to either return to the active roster, be placed on season-ending injured reserve, or be released from the team.
Though NFL teams don’t typically make a habit of releasing 26-year-old superstars, it is entirely possible that the Niners will be without the services of Bowman for the remainder of 2014. The All-Pro has struggled to rehabilitate the gruesome knee injury he suffered during last season’s playoff loss to Seattle.
Head Coach Jim Harbaugh has already said that Bowman will not practice with the team this week, but will perform rehabilitation exercises on-field, in the weight room, and in the team’s training room.
Though a recent MRI revealed no structural damage to the linebacker’s knee, Bowman has dealt with recent knee pain. If the pain persists, Bowman’s return will be delayed until the 2015 season.