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Arik Armstead returns to practice Thursday

The 49ers welcomed back a key part of their defensive line to practice on Thursday. Arik Armstead sat out two days with a shoulder issue, but appears to be back.

While Colin Kaepernick did not throw during team drills on Thursday, the San Francisco 49ers did welcome back another player. Defensive tackle Arik Armstead returned to practice after missing two days of team drills. Armstead suffered a shoulder injury that was described by the beat writers as likely a stinger. Chip Kelly said it was not a significant injury and thought he’d be practicing yesterday. On Thursday, defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil reiterated that it is a minor injury.

The 49ers host the Houston Texans on Sunday, and any injuries are worth noting as playing time is sorted out for the game. It would seem like there are no concerns at this point about Kaepernick or Armstead playing on Sunday. The team has been slowly working in guys like Glenn Dorsey and Will Redmond, so those will be two (among others) to watch on Sunday as we figure out who gets what kind of playing time. My guess is Dorsey doesn’t play, while Redmond does, due to Dorsey’s veteran status.

Chip Kelly meets with the media on Friday to close things out before the Texans game. He has said the coaching staff will meet up after Friday’s joint practice to finalize the starting lineup and planned rotations. O’Neil was asked whether or not NaVorro Bowman would play on Sunday. He emphasized the plan to meet in the next 48 hours to get that all finalized. I doubt we hear anything specific on Friday from Kelly about who won’t play, but we’ll see. If the team was traveling, he might say who won’t travel, but that is not the situation this week.