Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman are close to each other, they sit next to each other during team meetings. They also swap notes about the nuances of playing linebacker and they push each other more than ever in the weight room.
Unfortunately, when it comes time to take the field this year, Willis will have to go by himself. Doctors believe that Bowman’s torn ACL will keep him sidelined for about half the season. Willis is already dreading the day when he has to make it through training camp practice without Bowman by his side.
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis told the media on Tuesday that he might move to NaVorro Bowman’s position while he recovers from ACL surgery.
Patrick Willis media scrum. LB says he might switch to Navorro Bowman’s ILB spot. http://t.co/asKCxuEr7l
– Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) June 3, 2014
The Niners will miss Bowman, the third-year linebacker was coming off a career-best season and his third consecutive first-team All-Pro selection. The 49ers will most likely insert 27-year-old Michael Wilhoite as Willis’ replacement for the first half of the 2014 NFL season. Wilhoite performed well in spot duty last season, other candidates included second-year player Nick Moody, first-year Chris Borland, and undrafted rookie Shane Skov.
Willis is accustomed to playing the traditional middle linebacker, Bowman’s role varies because it requires him to be more of a hybrid linebacker.