Arik Armstead Has ‘A Chance’ to Play Week 11, Says Kyle Shanahan
Coming off a Week 10 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers, the 49ers will look to get even healthier in Mexico City, with defensive tackle Arik Armstead potentially returning to the field.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan stated Monday that the defensive lineman has a chance to suit for his first game since suffering foot and ankle injuries earlier in the season.
“He does have a chance,” the coach said during his weekly conference call Monday.
However, Shanahan was non-committal on those plans, hinting at the uncertainty that he’ll even be able to practice on the road trip. Factors playing a role in the decision could be location, recovery and even altitude, playing in the mountains of Mexico next week.
A Sacramento native, Arik Armstead has been on the mend since suffering an ankle injury during Week 4’s contest against the Los Angeles Rams. The lineman already had been dealing with plantar fascia in his right foot before suffering the additional injury to his lower body. The team later revealed that Armstead has a stress reaction and hairline fracture of his left fibula, making his return to the field even more of a question.
San Francisco now turns its attention to the Arizona Cardinals, facing their divisional rival Monday night in Mexico City. The 49ers are traveling to Colorado Springs Tuesday, preparing for the elevation increase in the Rocky Mountains the entire week. The team will fly to Mexico on Sunday for Monday night’s game.
Santa Clara elevation: 72 feet
Colorado Springs elevation: ~6,000 feet
Mexico City elevation: 7,349 feet
The 49ers will be climbing the ladder over the next week. They fly out to Colorado Tuesday
— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) November 14, 2022
The change in scenery is a strategic one for Shanahan, understanding that altitude can play a big factor in performance during the game.
“If guys are struggling with stuff, it’s practice. So you take a break or you take that guy out [of the lineup]. But you want to practice at that altitude because the more days you spend in it, the more your body gets used to it and hopefully it’ll make it easier for us Monday night,” Shanahan explained.
The team is also excited to play in Mexico due to the overwhelming fanbase they have across the border. Kyle Shanahan is hopeful that international fans (and American fans alike), will travel to Estadio Azteca to create a sea of Red & Gold on the road.
“I feel like Mexico is a second home for us. I think our fan base here in California, and in Mexico, is unbelievable. I go down to Cabo a lot and there’s a great group of Mexican fans out there so hoping it’s the same there in Mexico City. So I’m actually excited to do it and go there and be a part of it,” Shanahan said.