Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports



On Wednesday, San Francisco 49ers defensive end Arik Armstead defended himself on Twitter against those who were criticizing him for not putting on a cast and playing through his injury. The third-year player broke his left hand during Sunday's loss to the Washington Redskins and insisted the injury was too severe to play through. Armstead included a photo of himself playing with a cast over his hand while at the University of Oregon.


Armstead, who was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday, doesn't need to defend his toughness to his defensive coordinator. Robert Saleh met with the media prior to Thursday's practice and discussed Armstead and the injury.

"Arik played a quarter-and-a-half (against Washington) with that broken hand," Saleh said. "He's a tough son of a B. He is. He's tough and I will never question that man's toughness. If he could have played with a club, he would have played with a club. If he can play with one hand, he'll play with one hand.

"It's just unfortunate, the injury he had, the location of where it was. But he played a quarter-and-a-half with it. He actually dominated the man in front of him so it's just an unlucky break on his part."

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As 49ers Webzone senior writer Al Sacco recently pointed out, Armstead is second on the team with 15 quarterback pressures and had an above-average run stop grade, according to Pro Football Focus. Only DeForest Buckner ranks higher in the category with 29 quarterback pressures.

Armstead will require surgery on his broken hand. He will be eligible to return for the 49ers' game against the Tennessee Titans on December 17 should the team decide to bring him back this season. San Francisco can designate two players on injured reserve as eligible to return after each has spent eight weeks on the list.

Armstead was the 17th-overall selection by the 49ers in the 2015 NFL Draft. He started all six games this season and had 16 total tackles, 1.5 sacks, and a pass defensed. Over his three seasons with the 49ers, Armstead has 50 total tackles, six sacks, and a pass defensed.