The 49ers were bit by the injury bug as of late, but many of those players are poised to return for the playoffs after the Wild Card round.
For the most part, the San Francisco 49ers have been relatively lucky in terms of serious injuries over the course of 2023. Anyone who recalls the Niners' injury-plagued 2020 campaign can use that as a worst-case scenario, and this season has been a far cry from what happened back then.
Still, head coach Kyle Shanahan's squad has been hit by injuries a little harder as of late, many of which trailed one of the few season-ending setbacks San Francisco has had: losing All-Pro safety Talanoa Hufanga to a torn ACL not long after the halfway point of the year.
That was a massive blow. Except Hufanga's replacement, rookie defensive back Ji'Ayir Brown, has been excellent as a first-year starter.
Until Brown, too, was lost for a significant length of time because of injury.
With the 49ers securing the No. 1 seed in the NFC upon entering the playoffs, they can rest up and heal an additional week during the Wild Card round, which has afforded Shanahan the opportunity to get back a number of key players from injury when the divisional round rolls around in just over a week.
Shanahan provided some key updates on injured players, and the news is looking pretty good.
Including defensive tackle Arik Armstead, who has been out with a foot and knee injury since Week 14.
Kyle Shanahan provides updates on Arik Armstead
Armstead dealt with a foot injury that cut out half of his 2022 campaign and began to show up midway through the year, forcing him to exit halfway during the Niners' Week 13 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles.
He hasn't seen the field since.
Shanahan noted, though, that the defender is awfully close to returning and is "looking good" and the team "should get him back in practice this week."
San Francisco engaged in a somewhat meaningless Week 18 affair against the Los Angeles Rams, and Shanahan said that Armstead "would’ve gone last week if we needed that," but seeing how the 49ers rested plenty of their starters in what turned into a 21-20 loss to LA, it didn't matter.
Instead, giving Armstead an additional week of rest and recovery mattered more.
And it'll matter for the Niners' defensive backfield, too, which is getting healthier.