After failing to take the field for the San Francisco 49ers in each other their last five games, Arik Armstead fans were dished some unpleasant news on Thursday when the former first-round pick out of Oregon was held out of practice with a DNP thanks to the foot and ankle injury that has plagued him for much of the season.
For fans keeping track at home, this marks the 16th-straight practice Armstead has missed since playing his last game on October 3rd, 2022, and hangs a foreboding specter over the prospects of the eight-year pro making it onto the field in Mexico City against the Arizona Cardinals. If he’s unable to play and his Week 1 partner in crime, Javon Kinlaw, remains on IR ahead of the contest, the 49ers will likely have to rely on the tandem of Hassan Ridgeway and Kevin Givens, who earned the start in Week 10 against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Kyle Shanahan Provides An Update On Arik Armstead, Javon Kinlaw
When asked about the statuses of both Amstead and Kinlaw on the Murph & Mac KNBR show on November 16th, Kyle Shanahan provided some insight into how their injuries are progressing, as transcribed by 49ers WebZone.
“They’re both going in the right direction,” Shanahan said. “Kinlaw will not play this week. Even if he had a chance to, we wouldn’t risk it with all the flying here, going to this altitude and stuff. That’s what kind of got him this last time, going to Denver.”
“But they’re both going in the right direction. They got three days off, going through this rehab stuff, so I’ll see them on Thursday and see if they’re ready to go to get into practice, at least with Armstead. Not sure yet, but I do think it’s going in the right direction.”
Unfortunately, Armstead was not able to practice on Thursday, but it’s at least reassuring to know Shanahan believes that he’s trending in the right direction.
The San Francisco 49ers Have Held Up Well Against The Run
With Kinlaw and Armstead having to play just 208 snaps combined for the 49ers so far this season, and with their Week 1 backups instead playing the lion’s share of the snaps, some might assume that DeMeco Ryans‘ defense has been struggling to stop opposing rushers between the tackles, right? Fortunately, so far, that hasn’t been the case.
According to Pro Football Focus, the 49ers are tied for fifth with the New York Jets in rushing defense through Week 10 with a Run Defense grade of 73.2. Pro Football Reference has high praise for the 49ers’ rushing defense, as, according to their team stats feature, San Francisco has allowed the fewest rushing yards in the league at 744 while allowing the fewest yards-per-carry of any team in the NFL at 3.4. While all of that success against the run isn’t solely based on the surprisingly effective interior play of Ridgeway and Givens, as Nick Bosa, Samson Ebukam, and the linebacking corps have been instrumental to the team’s overall on-field success, the feat of sliding in a 28-year-old journeyman tackle and an undrafted free agent into the spots typically filled by a pair of former first-round picks without missing much of a beat is impressive none the less.