The San Francisco 49ers defense has seen some shuffling over the first five weeks, with injuries and scheme adjustments resulting in some new faces. Week 5 saw Robert Saleh rotate NaVorro Bowman a bit more than normal, and as we move into Week 6, improved play elsewhere and a potential injury return could shake things up further.
Linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong was second to DeForest Buckner in PFF grading. It marked the second straight week of a strong performance from Armstrong. He allowed just seven yards in coverage, and of course had the big end zone interception in overtime. He finished the game with four tackles and a stop.
This marks his second straight week of one of the higher grades among 49ers players, and the timing is intriguing to say the least. Reuben Foster will hopefully return to practice this week. Once he can play again, potentially as early as this weekend, the 49ers have some decisions to make at linebacker. Bowman lost some work this week. Once Foster is back on the field, he will likely take some passing down work away from Bowman. Will we start to see more Foster-Armstrong pairings in the nickel? How do the snap totals end up shaking out once all three are available?