San Francisco 49ers

49ers’ Tomsula says all signs positive on Bowman’s recovery

NaVorro Bowman teams with Tony Jerod-Eddie to take down a Rams runner in 2013.
NaVorro Bowman teams with Tony Jerod-Eddie to take down a Rams runner in 2013. AP

Jim Tomsula said Wednesday that inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman has been at the 49ers’ facility “every day” rehabilitating his left knee and that every sign so far is that he’s making a positive recovery.

“I’m not a doctor, I’m not going to tell you I know exactly where he’s at and all that,” Tomsula said during a breakfast for NFC coaches. “I know his rehab is going real well, and all the information I have is extremely positive from doctors, trainers and Bow.”

Bowman’s recovery from the ACL and MCL tears he suffered in the NFC championship game in January 2014 – 14 months ago – already was going to be a big story this offseason. However, it increased in importance after the back-to-back retirements of Patrick Willis and Chris Borland, who played the same position.

Bowman was taken off the physically-unable-to-play list late last season but didn’t play or practice. That led to speculation that the All-Pro linebacker had suffered a setback.

“There was no setback,” general manager Trent Baalke said earlier this month. “It was just a matter of what’s the best decision for him, long term, at that time. That’s the decision that we made.”

Like Tomsula, Baalke said he’s encouraged by what he’s seen and heard from Bowman in recent weeks

“I think he feels good,” Baalke said. “He’s really starting to feel like it’s coming back to where he wants it. And that’s always the most important thing. ... I’ve said this before, there’s the physical response to coming back from an injury, and then there’s the psychological. Sometimes they don’t coincide with one another. Sometimes physically you’re ready, but psychologically you’re not. But I think he’s in a real good place right now.”

Et cetera – Tomsula said he has always respected free-agent acquisition Darnell Dockett, so much so that he would seek out the former Arizona defensive lineman at the end of 49ers-Cardinals games. “I loved watching the guy play,” Tomsula said. “I just always wanted (to greet him) out of respect. To say, ‘Hey, man. I have a lot of respect for what you do, man, how hard you play.’ He’s got all that talent, but he plays so hard.”

▪ NFL owners did not alter the point-after-attempt rules in Phoenix, but they are likely to vote on a change during the May meeting in San Francisco. The competition committee’s Rich McKay said there is no specific proposal as of now but that there’s a “clear sentiment” that the owners want change this season. Any new rule is likely to encourage more two-point attempts.

▪ One item the owners approved: Linebackers will be able to wear numbers in the 40s. That move came too late for Willis, who wore No. 49 at Ole Miss.

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