The San Francisco 49ers fell to the rival Seattle Seahawks yesterday 23-17 in an incredible game that went right down to the wire, and I think everyone who loves the game of football thoroughly enjoyed yesterday’s game between the NFL’s greatest rivals (at least currently). Had the 49ers won, then they would have faced the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl without two key players on both sides of the ball, as left guard Mike Iupati and superstar inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman both went down with serious injuries.
Iupati was injured in the second quarter on a one-yard touchdown dive over the pile by backup running back Anthony Dixon. The injury immediately looked serious and was to Iupati’s ankle, and he was never expected to return to the game. According to CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco, 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh stated that Iupati fractured his ankle. That’s definitely a serious injury, but the road-grating run blocker has plenty of time to recover from it in the offseason and should be even better in 2014.
There were a few blown calls in yesterday’s game, and the most egregious was on a fumble by Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse at the San Francisco 1. Star linebacker NaVorro Bowman clearly secured the ball, but the Seahawks must have confused the refs by creating a pile and making it look like they recovered it. But on the replay, it was clear that Bowman picked the ball up and secured it, and it was a terrible call by the refs. Worse yet, the play was non-reviewable per the NFL rulebook, so the blown call could not be reversed. The 49ers were able to recover a fumble and get the ball back at a critical juncture thanks to a botched hand-off between Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch, but it was still a terrible call. Hopefully the NFL makes those plays reviewable in the offseason, because that really put everyone in a bind.
What made things worse was that Bowman suffered a gruesome knee injury on the play, as his knee was trapped underneath Kearse on the play. He was in major pain and had to be carted off, and it was sad watching his hard work go unrewarded by poor officiating and rules; you could clearly see players on both the Seahawks and 49ers devastated by a devastating injury to one of the best players in the game.
According to CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco, 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh stated that NaVorro Bowman has an ACL tear in his left knee per the preliminary exams done by the 49ers, but we won’t know the official details until further examination. For now, it would be a bit of surprise if Bowman avoided an ACL tear.