The 49ers are going to be without two of their starters on the defensive line when they square off against the Cardinals this Sunday.
The San Francisco 49ers are facing a bit of a problem in advance of their Week 15 road game against the three-win Arizona Cardinals.
Sure, Arizona isn't particularly good amid what looks to be a lengthy rebuild under first-year head coach Jonathan Gannon, and the Niners already beat the Cardinals once this year. But Gannon's squad has proven to be feisty enough this year, and Arizona is happy to have welcomed back quarterback Kyler Murray into the fray after the recovery from the torn ACL he suffered last season stretched into the early parts of this year.
OK, so, what's the problem for San Francisco?
The 49ers are a bit banged up on defense, highlighted by some injuries during the Week 14 win over the Seattle Seahawks. Now, entering Week 15, the defensive line is feeling it a bit.
And it'll be down two key players for Sunday's matchup out in the desert.
49ers injury updates vs. Cardinals: Arik Armstead, Javon Hargrave ruled OUT for Week 15
Speaking to reporters from his Friday press conference, head coach Kyle Shanahan provided updates on injured Niners who'd either be out for Sunday's tilt against Arizona or were listed as questionable.
Here's the full list:
- DT Arik Armstead (foot, knee): OUT
- DT Javon Hargrave (hamstring): OUT
- RB Elijah Mitchell (knee): OUT
- TE Ross Dwelley (ankle): OUT
- LB Oren Burks (knee): OUT
- CB Charvarius Ward (groin): Questionable
- OL Aaron Banks (hip): Questionable
- OL Spencer Burford (knee): Questionable
- LB Dre Greenlaw (hip/ankle): Questionable
San Francisco can hope for good fortune with its players who are questionable, but the D-line is going to feel both Armstead and Hargrave's absences.
Especially against a Cardinals team that likes to run the ball and currently ranks third best with an average of 4.7 yards per carry.
That poses a potential problem for a 49ers defense that still ranks best in the NFL in total rush yards allowed (1,018) but now has to rely on at least two backups to spell both Armstead and Hargrave.
Expect defensive tackles Javon Kinlaw, Kevin Givens and Kalia Davis to see significant upticks in field time.
Armstead, meanwhile, is missing his third game in a row, but Shanahan is hoping this could be the final week the defensive captain is out.
The Niners and Cardinals kick off on Sunday, Dec. 17 at 4:05 p.m. ET from State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
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