The San Francisco 49ers lost a heartbreaking NFC championship game on Sunday, and also lost the heart of their defense.
The race is on to see if All-Pro linebacker NaVorro Bowman can be back for the start of next season after a horrific knee injury, and he'll have to start that race at least a couple weeks late.
In his season wrap-up press conference, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh confirmed that Bowman tore his ACL and would need surgery. What complicates matters is Bowman also injured his MCL. The team has to wait two or three weeks until Bowman gets his ACL repaired, because they don't know yet if the MCL needs surgery too.
"We'll see what the MCL, how that heals in the next two or three weeks," Harbaugh said.
"We don't know if that has to be fixed or not."
Because Bowman's injury happened in the second-to-last game of the NFL season, it obviously gives him less time to heal before the 2014 season opener. Harbaugh didn't know if Bowman, a three-time first-team All-Pro linebacker, would be in the lineup to start next season.
"I have no way to speculate," Harbaugh said. "I have not been informed."
Bowman's injury was gruesome and graphic, one of the worst in the NFL in recent memory. 49ers safety Eric Reid came in to break up a pass and Reid and the Seahawks receiver crashed into Bowman's leg.
Here's the video of the play, and be warned before you watch that it is graphic: