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San Francisco 49ers put NaVorro Bowman on PUP list

San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio suggested a month ago that NaVorro Bowman will be out until midseason as the All-Pro linebacker recovers from surgery to repair a torn ACL and MCL sustained during the NFC Championship Game.

The team made it official on Monday, placing Bowman on the physically unable to perform list. The Niners also placed running back Marcus Lattimore (knee) on the non-football injury list.

The earliest the two can return is Week 7 in a Sunday Night Football matchup at Denver. The 49ers have a bye the following week, in case they have any reservations about Bowman's game condition.

Prior to the injury, Bowman was Around The NFL's choice for NFL Defensive Player of the Year. One of the league's surest tacklers and fastest linebackers, Bowman produced dominant performances when fellow All-Pros Patrick Willis and Aldon Smith missed time early in the season.

With Bowman out of the lineup, Michael Wilhoite and rookie Chris Borland are competing for the starting job next to Willis. Thus far, the battle has been too close to call.

Lattimore's late-season return will be gravy for a backfield that will rely heavily upon rookie Carlos Hyde to complement starter Frank Gore.

Bowman's late-season return could end up saving a defense that will enter the season short-handed.

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