New Jersey

49ers' Bowman on His Game for Rise Against Hunger Event

He plays the game with ferocity, tackles rehab with tenacity and scoops rice with velocity.

49ers linebacker Navorro Bowman, who is coming back from a torn Achilles tendon, says he'll be ready for the 2017 season. In the meantime, he's doing his part to help feed the hungry for United Airlines' campaign Rise Against Hunger.

"You know, my hands are sweating, so I'm obviously working hard," said Bowman, who along with former 49er Dennis Brown joined the United team at San Francisco International Airport for a meal-packing competition of sorts. "We don't have a clock on us, but I think i'm doing pretty good."

The United Airlines team did a little better than good; it beat its counterparts in Newark, New Jersey, who were receiving help from the New York Giants.

"It's a little something, you know, we'd like to get them out there on the gridiron, but if we can get them any way we can, we'll take it," Bowman said.

The competition is simple: which side could pack the winning number of meals the fastest.

"Rise Against Hunger is one of the best ways to give back to those in need, those that need to eat," said Mike Hanna, United Airlines' vice president of SFO operations. "And our employees, we've got 200 of them out here volunteering today, just to pack 20,000 meals for those that are in need. That's why it's so important to us and so important to my team."

Bowman and Brown played in different eras, but one gets the sense they would have been great teammates.

"I was a defensive lineman, and he is a linebacker, so it starts with me," Brown said. "I'm the first line of defense. He's the general on the football field. It's been a good partnership.

"He's pulling his weight. he's making sure the bags get the right ingredients inside," Brown continued. "We can't have too little. We can't have too much, so he's got a really important job, and he's definitely enjoying himself."

Bowman's 2016 season was cut short due to the Achilles injury. If his food-packing performance is any indication, he's ready to hit the field today.

"I feel great," Bowman said. "Guys are excited about how I've been working and coming along, and I'm just excited just to be able to play this game another year and get myself back out there playing the football that I know I can."

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