The longevity for an NFL player's career rarely will dip into the double digits. A large part of that stems from injuries that derail a player's career and even their lives. Former San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman is a perfect example of such. The former All-Pro linebacker officially retired today from the NFL and he did it as a 49er.
Bowman paid a visit at the 49ers OTAs today to inform the organization of his decision. It's only right that he retires with the team as he's blessed the franchise with so many fantastic memories. The most notable one that everyone refers to is the "Pick at the Stick" where Bowman reeled in a pick six off of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.
Bowman was an absolute beast of a player. There is just too long of a list of adjectives to describe his play when he was in his prime during the Jim Harbaugh years. The best way to describe NaVorro Bowman is a one of a kind linebacker. He and Patrick Willis were easily one of the most dominant duos a defense has ever had at linebacker.
I mean what couldn't these two ballers do? They were practically twins who had mirrored talents. Both players were fast, could cover strong, and were outright physical. There was nothing these two couldn't do. If Willis was 1A then Bowman was 1B. At the time, Bowman's trajectory was hall of fame caliber. Now that his injuries has shortened his career he'll be a question mark.
The gruesome injury he sustained that we all bare witnessed against the Seattle Seahawks in the 2013 NFC championship felt as if cold water was splashed on us. That injury alone was difficult to overcome, yet he was able to return close to form. Fast forward a couple years down the line and Bowman suffers yet another injury. This time a torn achilles, which proved too heavy a toll on his body.
Bowman could not move laterally as well and struggled to break on a ball like he once did. It hurt seeing him like this knowing he didn't deserve it. He was an elite football player, but a unique man as well. There is always going to be "What Ifs" with him, but at this time 49ers fans should be thankful and grateful for the memories. So thank you NaVorro Bowman to your dedication towards the game and the San Francisco 49ers. We wish you nothing but the best.