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Kyle Shanahan outlines plan for Arik Armstead’s 49ers playoff return

Jan 10, 2024 at 10:41 AM

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"Armstead's looking good. We should get him back in practice this week," San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters this week.

Defensive end Arik Armstead has not appeared in a game since December 3 due to foot and knee injuries. Had Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Rams been a must-win situation for the 49ers, Armstead might have been able to suit up.

"He would've gone last week if we needed that," Shanahan said. "That's why we were really pumped that we were able to get that (the top seed), so he didn't have to go last week. So just giving him this extra week, he's better right now than he was a week ago at this time. So hopefully, that extra week will give him enough to ease back into this and make him even better a week from now."

A week from now, the 49ers will know their Divisional Playoff opponent and be preparing to host that team at Levi's Stadium. They have the luxury of easing Armstead back slowly, ramping up his workload heading into that postseason match.

Shanahan previously mentioned that Armstead has been dealing more with the foot injury than the knee. Last season, the defensive tackle struggled with plantar fasciitis, forcing him to miss several games. That type of injury can re-emerge, prompting speculation that Armstead is dealing with something similar or even the same thing.

When asked if Armstead is dealing with plantar fasciitis, the coach wasn't entirely certain, saying, "I just know it's his foot and his knee. I don't know how to pronounce that word you just said (plantar fasciitis). He's doing better. He looked good today (Tuesday), and that was the test, and that's why we're going to get him into practice Thursday. And hopefully, it goes well, and we'll get him in a little bit Friday."

Regardless of the specifics of the injury, it sounds like the 49ers are gearing up for Armstead's return at the perfect time. The defensive tackle's comeback could offer the much-needed boost to spearhead a successful Super Bowl run for the team.
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