49ers DL Arik Armstead returns to practice Thursday

Jan 11, 2024, 12:00 PM | Updated: 2:19 pm

Arik Armstead #91 of the San Francisco 49ers takes the field prior to the game against the New York...

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 21: Arik Armstead #91 of the San Francisco 49ers takes the field prior to the game against the New York Giants at Levi's Stadium on September 21, 2023 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

After speculation of his return all week, Arik Armstead has officially made his way back to the practice field for the 49ers.

The San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman was seen at practice Thursday, the first time he has made an official session since early December. Armstead has battled foot and knee injuries since Week 13, missing the last five contests of the regular season.

But after a month and a half of rehab, it appears the 49ers will have their starting DL back for the postseason.

“He looked good today. That was the test and we’re going to get him into practice Thursday and hopefully it goes well and we’ll get him in a little bit Friday,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said about Armstead earlier in the week.

Arik Armstead, 30, has dealt with plantar fasciitis in his right foot for the better part of two years. The Sacramento native missed half of the 2022 regular season because of the injury.

Getting banged up after the team’s 2023 Bye Week, Armstead played through the pain in Week 13 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Wanting to be cautious with their star player, SF put him on ice, hoping to have him healthy for the playoffs. But if the team needed him to step in in Week 18, he could have.

“He would’ve gone last week if we needed that [game],” Shanahan added.

Armstead has recorded 27 combined tackles, five sacks and 13 quarterback hits in 2023. He also scored an 81.9 Pro Football Focus grade, becoming the 49ers’ best interior run defender.

Meanwhile, the 49ers also got a handful of other key players back at practice, including safety Ji’Ayir Brown. Wide receiver Jauan Jennings (concussion) and cornerback Ambry Thomas (hand) were also seen Thursday. 

Some players did miss, however, including running back Christian McCaffrey and linebacker Dre Greenlaw. S Tashaun Gipson and offensive lineman Jon Feliciano are also missing, with all ailments seen as minor at the moment. 

The upcoming schedule for the San Francisco 49ers

  • January 13-14 – NFL Playoffs (Wild Card Round) – BYE
  • January 20-21 – NFC Divisional Round

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