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Kyle Shanahan would be surprised if Reuben Foster doesn’t play, expects Arik Armstead to finish season on IR

The 49ers should get a big piece back on Sunday.

Carolina Panthers v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers have a host of injury issues right now, and as is usually the case, there’s a little bit of good and a little bit of bad. Head coach Kyle Shanahan made an appearance on KNBR Friday morning, and he offered updates on rookie linebacker Reuben Foster, and third year defensive tackle Arik Armstead.

Shanahan would not commit to Foster definitely playing, but he did say, “I’d be surprised if he doesn’t play.” The 49ers have one more practice today, and Shanahan acknowledged there is always a chance for a setback. But for the time being, he’s feeling good about Foster’s chances of returning this season.

On the other side of the coin, Shanahan said it is unlikely that Arik Armstead will return from IR this season. The team is allowed to return a maximum of two players from injured reserve. The 49ers opened Ronald Blair’s practice window this week, and he can return to game action as soon as Week 9. Shanahan also said there’s a good chance the team brings back Tank Carradine as well. He would not entirely rule out Armstead returning, but with Blair and Tank available, and Armstead only having three games remaining if he does return, it seems like Armstead is done for the season.

And for those wondering, Armstead played approximately a quarter and a half of Sunday’s game with the broken hand. Shanahan explained that a cast would not work because of the nature of the injury. He described it as the knuckle going back into the hand, and I really have no interest in looking for closer video of that. I’m way too squeamish about those kinds of things!