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Armstead: I was hoping to be on the earlier side of returning, but I’m still on schedule

The 49ers should play it safe with Armstead

Los Angeles Rams v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

The 49ers had a light walkthrough practice Monday where several starters, including Deebo Samuel, Kyle Juszczyk, and Jason Verrett. Defensive tackle Arik Armstead, who hasn’t played since October 3, was not on the practice field.

Armstead has been recovering from an ankle and a foot injury — plantar fasciitis on the same foot, to be specific — that has kept him sidelined for over a month. According to NBC Sports’ Jennifer Lee Chan, who spoke with Armstead in the locker room Monday, Armstead’s return is “coming soon.” Arik added, “I was hoping to be on the earlier side of returning, but I’m still on schedule.”

We’re right at the end of the 4-to-6 recovery timetable for Armstead’s injury. Week 10 would mark the sixth week of Arik’s ankle/foot injury. This is brand new territory for a player who hadn’t missed a game since 2017 before this season and was among the team leaders in snap counts, despite playing on the defensive line.

I’m curious how long Armstead will take to get back onto the field and how much it’ll relate to who the team plays. The following two opponents, the Chargers and Cardinals, aren’t exactly hitting on all cylinders at the moment. The Saints just lost, but they’re in the NFC playoff race. Once you get past New Orleans, there’s a three-game stretch against a few high-powered offenses in Miami, Tampa Bay, and Seattle.

I wouldn’t risk Armstead re-aggravating an injury during the next two weeks, especially with the Cardinals game taking place in Mexico City.