By Brent Stecker
The 49ers had injury added to insult in the fourth quarter of their loss to Seattle in the NFC title game as All-Pro linebacker NaVorro Bowman suffered a graphic left knee injury in the midst of a play that resulted in a blown call.
All-Pro linebacker NaVorro Bowman sustained what the 49ers fear is a torn ACL in the fourth quarter. (AP)
The injury is believed to be a torn anterior cruciate ligament, coach Jim Harbaugh said.
“Tough break for NaVorro,” Harbaugh said.
On the play, Bowman appeared to recover a fumble by Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch near the goal line, falling to the ground with the ball in his clutches. As he fell, his leg was trapped underneath an opponent, which could be seen clearly during the numerous television replays. A scrum ensued, during which the Seahawks grabbed the ball back.
Bowman wasn’t the 49ers starter to leave with a severe injury. Guard Mike Iupati went down in the second quarter with a left ankle injury that according to Harbaugh is believed to be a fracture.
Gore shut down
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick had a big performance running the ball but he was nearly the 49ers’ entire ground game, accounting for 130 of their 161 yards rushing. The biggest disappointment was easily Frank Gore, who had just 14 yards on 11 carries.
More coverage of the Seahawks’ win over the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.
|• Recap | Stats | Photos | Interviews | Pete Carroll Show||• O’Neil: What we learned from the Seahawks’ win||• O’Neil: Seahawks’ win validates Carroll’s approach||• Henderson: Carroll revels in Super Bowl berth||• Henderson: Sherman pops off after game-saving play||• Henderson: Chancellor makes his presence felt||• Moore: Seahawks’ maligned receivers come up big||• Stecker: No redemption for Kaepernick in Seattle|
“They played great defense. We just couldn’t get it going,” Gore said. “We played hard. We had a lot of opportunities. We just didn’t get it done.”
Harbaugh didn’t have much to say about Gore’s lack of production.
“That’s a good question,” he said when asked why Gore wasn’t able to get going. “I don’t have that answer right now.”
The Seahawks have a history of limiting Gore at CenturyLink Field. He had just 16 yards on nine carries on Sept. 15 and 28 yards on six carries last season. He had 110 yards in the 49ers’ win over Seattle in San Francisco on Dec. 8.
Davis a non-factor
When the 49ers and Seahawks met in Seattle in 2012, San Francisco tight end Vernon Davis was leveled by safety Kam Chancellor that has become well-known in the history of the rivalry.
There was a repeat occurrence Sunday, as Chancellor knocked the ball out of Davis’ hands late in the third quarter with another vicious hit in the middle of one of the 49ers’ two three-and-outs.
It was one of the few times Davis was noticeable in the game. He was targeted just two other times, finishing with 16 yards on two receptions.