Shanahan: 49ers Arik Armstead expected back at practice this week

Jan 9, 2024, 3:57 PM | Updated: 4:08 pm

Arik Armstead #91 of the San Francisco 49ers runs out prior to a game against the Dallas Cowboys at...

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 08: Arik Armstead #91 of the San Francisco 49ers runs out prior to a game against the Dallas Cowboys at Levi's Stadium on October 08, 2023 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

After missing the last five weeks, it appears Arik Armstead is set to return for the 49ers’ playoff push.

The San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman is expected to return to practice this week, coach Kyle Shanahan said on Tuesday. Armstead has been absent from the field after re-aggravating his plantar fasciitis from a season ago. But after a month of rehab, Armstead is gearing up to play next week for the 49ers.

Kyle Shanahan shared the news, also revealing that the big man would have played Week 18 against the Los Angeles Rams if he needed to. Since the NFC’s No. 1 seed had already been clinched, Armstead got an extra week of rest.

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

Arik Armstead, 30, has missed the last five contests with foot and knee injuries. He played through the pain in Week 13 against the Philadelphia Eagles, before being shut down for the rest of the regular season. The 49ers have missed him in the middle of the defensive line, easily their best run defender in the trenches.

Armstead’s run comes at a fortunate time, with backup DL Clelin Ferrell expected to miss a few weeks with a knee injury. Ferrell suffered the injury early in Week 18, ruled out immediately. He could return in the postseason, per Shanahan.

The 49ers got more good news on the injury front, with wide receiver Jauan Jennings officially out of concussion protocol. Jennings has missed the last two games, suffering the head injury Christmas night against Baltimore.

Additionally, SF will also open safety George Odum’s practice window this week.

The special-teams ace has been out with a bicep injury since Week 13, having surgery to repair the torn tendon. While a return this season seemed unlikely, Odum back and practicing is good news for the 49ers’ secondary.

The Red & Gold will also be getting starters Tashaun Gipson and Ji’Ayir Brown back at practice this week, missing Week 18 with minor ailments.

Aside from Ferrell, the 49ers are set to be close to fully healthy entering the 2024 postseason.

Upcoming schedule for the San Francisco 49ers 

  • Sunday, Jan. 7th vs. Los Angeles Rams – 1:25 PM PST
  • January 13-14 – NFL Playoffs (Wild Card Round) – BYE
  • January 20-21 – NFC Divisional Round

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