49ers release NaVorro Bowman after brief hunt for a trade partner


NaVorro Bowman’s time with the San Francisco 49ers is over after he was released by the team on Friday, the team announced at a press conference.

NaVorro gave his heart and soul to this team for the last eight years, and for that we are all extremely grateful, 49ers general manager John Lynch said in a statement. During that time, NaVorro was a key component of one of the best teams in the league and his passion for the game allowed him to quickly become a favorite of our faithful fans.

In a sense, Next Man Up is an essential and ordinary part of the lexicon. In a sport with so many injuries, a coach has no choice but to rely on a cut-rate, impersonal slogan to motivate and distract. While he’s telling his players to step up, team personnel are scanning the waiver wire, pulling up reports on practice-squad players and making calls on trades. It’s impossible to ignore statistics like this one: In 2015, NFL players missed 1,639 games — almost 100 per week — because of injury. Those three words — Next Man Up — have become such a vital part of the culture that many players hear it with the same anesthetized indifference.

Even when we watch other games, it gets lost, Vikings safety Harrison Smith says. We react the same way. There’s a human part of it that gets lost.

But sometimes an event changes all that. Whether through proximity or sheer gruesomeness, the collective pain of a group of men rises up to relegate Next Man Up to a heartless clich.

It was very surreal, Boone says of Bridgewater’s injury. Sometimes you forget how brutal this game can be.

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When the guards are playing well and making shots, it makes it easy on me and DeMarcus down low.


Memphis, which trailed early, carried a 54-52 lead into halftime and extended the advantage to 79-70 entering the fourth. The Pelicans only got the deficit to single digits once in the fourth.

We got real stagnant, and we started forcing the issue, Cousins said. We didn’t make the defense work. We started to settle for the initial drive. They are very fixable issues.

The Pelicans relied on 33 points and 18 rebounds from Anthony Davis, while DeMarcus Cousins finished with 28 points and 10 boards. But the frontcourt pair got little help as the Pelicans shot 38 percent. Starting guards Jrue Holiday and E’Twaun Moore were a combined 7 of 22 from the field, including missing all five of their shots outside the arc.

His replacement, third-year pro Brett Hundley, believes he can continue what the two-time NFL MVP started. His first start comes Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. The Packers enter that game in a first-place tie with the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North at 4-2, and Hundley intends to keep them there.

I’ve been doing this my whole life, Hundley said. Aaron’s a Hall of Famer, and I want to be a Hall of Famer one day. I will lead this team. We’re all going to have fun, we’re all going to go out there and play football. It’s still football at the end of the day, and our goals are still in front of us.

Hundley spoke in front of his locker — one stall down from where Rodgers usually holds court with the media on Wednesdays — and admitted it was a different feeling for him. Rodgers was nowhere to be seen by the media, but Hundley said his mentor has been helping him even while trying to figure out when he’ll undergo surgery to repair the broken right collarbone he suffered in Sunday’s loss at Minnesota.

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