"Bowens is out – he's done," O'Brien said. "He's got a fractured spine... well not a fractured spine I said that wrong. He has a hairline fracture. So he's out for the year."
O'Brien said he's not sure when the injury occurred.
"We don't know," O'Brien said. "He never really got going. He went out and tried it one or two or three days and then couldn't practice anymore. He had a series of tests done that came back yesterday."
He also said he wasn't sure if the injury could be considered career-threatening.
"I don't know that. They are going to recheck him in three months or something. It's gotta heal. Once it heals I would think.... I would hope. I dunno."
As a sophomore, Bowens posted the team's best reception average at 15 yards per catch. He totaled 41 receptions for 598 yards and three touchdowns. Bowens had a breakout performance in his start against Virginia, recording 11 catches for 202 yards and two touchdowns. Those were the top marks ever posted by a NC State sophomore.
Bowens played in 2006 as a true freshman, registering 16 receptions for 200 yards and two scores.
Because he played as a true freshman, Bowens should be able to receive a medical redshirt for the 2008 season, enabling him to have two years of eligibility remaining.