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Arik Armstead played in only 35 snaps during Monday night's San Francisco 49ers victory over the Los Angeles Rams. Only nine of those snaps were against the run. However, Armstead still emerged as the team's highest graded defensive lineman and the highest graded non-defensive back on the team. He record a tackle and a sack during his time on the field.
On Wednesday, 49ers defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil was asked if Armstead's role will increase going forward. "We'll kind of see how he gets through the week and practice," he answered. "That's kind of the plan. That's been the plan all along."
The defensive coaching staff went into the game looking to play Armstead on later downs, explaining his smaller number of snaps against the Rams. It was a role similar to the one that he played in 2015.
"When he feels good and ready to roll, he's a guy that you'd like to only bring off the field when he needs to grab a water break and get him back out there just because he can be such a difference maker in the run and pass game," added O'Neil.
While Armstead's pass rush grade was high, his run support grade was significantly lower. However, the sample size was a minuscule nine snaps. We'll see how that grade differs when he gets more playing time as the season progresses.