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Arik Armstead will play through shoulder injury, might eventually need surgery

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The defensive tackle injured his shoulder early in camp, and has not played in the preseason. This will be a story to track all season.

The San Francisco 49ers are dealing with a variety of injury issues, and a lingering one remains on our radar. Arik Armstead suffered a shoulder injury a few weeks back, and he has not played in a preseason game.

Armstead spoke with the media on Tuesday, and addressed his injury. He told them he expects to be ready for the start of the 2016 season, as he is currently “keeping [his] maintenance up with it and just taking care of it.” He did say that surgery is a possibility down the road, but would not commit to that. He simply said, “It may. It just depends,” and that he feels good right now.

Armstead is a critical component to that defensive line, especially with Quinton Dial dealing with his MCL sprain, and Glenn Dorsey still a Week 1 question mark. My guess is he will use pain killers to get through games, and have surgery in the offseason. Of course, if he aggravates the injury at some point, that plan could change in a hurry. This will be a story to track all season.