SANTA CLARA – The long week was good for 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman.
The 49ers’ defense was on the field for 79 snaps in the team’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sept. 17. Four days later, the 49ers looked worn down in a 41-39 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night.
Bowman, 29, said he feels a lot more fresh heading into Week 4 against the Arizona Cardinals after missing the final 12 games last season after sustaining a torn Achilles tendon.
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“I feel great. I feel 100 times better,” Bowman said on Wednesday. “I feel like we’ve had time to rest up and play a full 60-minute game.”
Bowman is tied with linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong for the team-lead with 20 tackles through three games. But his five missed tackles is also tied with Armstrong, according to Pro Football Focus. Four of Bowman’s missed tackles have been in the passing game.
“From myself, it’s just getting back in the flow,” Bowman said. "It’s been a while, so this being my third game, understanding the scheme and trying to absorb the offense have been my biggest challenges -- trying to do those two things at once. And I feel like I’m getting more comfortable.”
As Bowman gets more settled in Robert Saleh’s defense, he prepares this week to face a familiar offense. The Cardinals will not have the services of running back David Johnson, who is on injured reserve as he recovers from wrist surgery. Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is still the favored offensive weapon of quarterback Carson Palmer.
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“They’re pretty much the same as they’ve been over the years, trying to get Larry the ball,” Bowman said. “David’s down, so Chris Johnson is back there. I’ve played against him a few times. As far as their mindset, it’s run the ball to open up the pass.”