EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -– The 49ers plan for all players on their active injury lists, including All-Pro linebacker NaVorro Bowman, to “return to practice” on Tuesday.
Tuesday is the deadline for players on NFI and PUP to return to practice in order to be eligible to play this season. Once players “return to practice,” it begins a 21-day window during which each player can be activated to the 53-man roster.
At the conclusion of the 21-day window for each player, the 49ers must activate the player, release him or place him on season-ending injured reserve.
Bowman underwent an MRI examination last week that checked out fine, according to a source. But it’s unclear what level of participation Bowman will experience during practices this week. Bowman has not experienced any significant setbacks after surgery to repair his ACL, which was torn in the NFC Championship game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio last week said it’s possible Bowman will not be able to play this season.
Seventh-round draft picks fullback Trey Millard (knee) and defensive lineman Kaleb Ramsey (Achilles) returned to practice last week.
This week, Bowman, tight end Garrett Celek (back), guard Brandon Thomas (knee) and cornerback Keith Reaser (knee) are expected to return in some form.
Even players who have no chance of returning to action this season, such as Thomas and Reaser, are expected to “return to practice,” so they can take part in on-field stretching with their teammates and walk-throughs.