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Bowman, Iupati Suffer Major Injuries

Posted Jan 19, 2014

San Francisco lost a pair of Pro Bowlers to major injuries on Sunday. NaVorro Bowman and Mike Iupati both left the game against Seattle.

SEATTLE – As if the 49ers loss to the Seattle Seahawks wasn’t hard enough on Sunday, there will be a little salt in the wound with two Pro Bowlers suffering major injuries.

NaVorro Bowman went down an ACL injury to his left knee and left guard Mike Iupati fractured his left ankle.

Jim Harbaugh shared the bad news following San Francisco’s 23-17 defeat in the NFC Championship game.

“It was a 15-round fight,” the 49ers coach said after his team lost out on an opportunity to reach consecutive Super Bowls.

Iupati’s injury happened early in the game on a fourth-down Anthony Dixon touchdown run. The mauling guard was in pain immediately as he was tangled in a pile of players on the goal line. The fourth-year lineman was helped off the field and did not return to the game. Veteran Adam Snyder stepped in at left guard for the rest of the game.

Harbaugh confirmed that Iupati suffered a fractured ankle. The 331-pound guard had his left foot in a walking boot and he used crutches to leave the locker room.

Bowman’s injury in the second half was another devastating blow. He, too, also left the locker room on crutches.

The All-Pro linebacker appeared to force a fumble after a Russell Wilson pass to Jermaine Kearse in the fourth quarter. Bowman stripped the Seahawks wideout in front of the goal line, but was hit on the play by rookie safety Eric Reid who struck the receiver into Bowman.

Bowman’s injury startled his teammates.

“I know how tough he is,” Patrick Willis said of his close friend. “I could hear him yelling.”

Willis knew the ball was loose on the play, but admitted to not caring where it was. He saw Bowman buckle immediately when he was struck by Reid’s hit on Kearse.

“I didn’t care where the ball was,” Willis said.

Willis said he would be there every step of the way with Bowman’s upcoming rehabilitation work.

“He’s going to be alright,” Willis said. “He’s strong mentally and physically.”

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