SANTA CLARA –- Inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman served notice Sunday night during his brief stint in the 49ers' second exhibition game that if he’s not all the way back from the knee injury that kept him out of action last season, he’s getting very close.
Bowman smothered Dallas Cowboys running back Darren McFadden for a one-yard gain on his first snap in game action since sustaining torn ligaments in his left knee in the NFC Championship game against Seattle in January 2014.
After 19 months, Bowman played three snaps against the Cowboys and -– of course -– recorded three tackles. After his solo tackle on first down, Bowman and fellow inside linebacker Nick Moody teamed up to drop McFadden for a one-yard loss. On third down, Bowman tackled Lance Dunbar for a one-yard loss on a pass from quarterback Tony Romo.
[MAIOCCO: 49ers LB Bowman expected to play vs. Cowboys]
Bowman was named first-team All-Pro in three consecutive seasons before the injury. After spending last season on physically unable to perform, Bowman received medical clearance in the offseason to resume football activity.
He sat out the 49ers’ first padded practice of training camp, but has not missed another day since reporting to training camp in late-July.