Bay Area Sports: Ranking the Top 30 Players

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Oct 18, 2015; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman (53) reacts to the crowd during the fourth quarter of the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Levi

#21 – NaVorro Bowman, San Francisco 49ers

NaVorro Bowman has had a long road to get to where he is right now. In his early years, he was one of the leaders of the 49ers’ defense, which was consistently one of the best in the NFL. He was a three-time All-Pro player, starting with his second year, and was one of the top linebackers in the game with room to grow.

It all came to a screeching halt in the 2014 playoffs, when he suffered a gruesome, career-threatening knee injury against the Seattle Seahawks. The torn ACL and MCL kept him out for the entire 2014 season, but through hard work and extensive rehab, he made his return in the 2015 season.

Bowman hasn’t necessarily looked like the player he was before the injury, but he has still become a force in the middle of the field again. He’s second in the NFL in tackles, behind only D’Qwell Jackson, and has also picked up two sacks.

Though the 2015 season has been a nightmare for the 49ers, Bowman’s return has been a bright spot. After such a scary injury, just getting back on the field is an enormous accomplishment. To be playing at the high level that he is is another thing altogether.

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