After one of the most controversial plays of the NFC Championship, San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman was carted off with what appeared to be a significant injury to his left leg.
According to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, via Twitter, coach Jim Harbaugh said after the 49ers’ 23-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks that it appears Bowman sustained a torn ACL.
Jim Harbaugh: preliminary result on NaVorro Bowman is a torn ACL.
— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) January 20, 2014
After Seahawks receiver Jermaine Kearse made a reception deep in San Francisco territory, Bowman stripped the ball from Kearse and appeared to cleanly recover the loose ball even as Kearse landed on Bowman’s lower left leg, causing it to bend at a grotesque angle.
Even though Bowman had clear possession of the ball and was down by contact, officials ruled the Seahawks had recovered the fumble. Under NFL rules, recoveries of fumbles in the field of play (not on a scoring play or on the sideline) are not subject to replay review.
The 49ers got possession of the ball on the next play as Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch fumbled the ball on fourth down and was stopped for a 10-yard loss.
There was no immediate report on the extent of Bowman’s injury.