5 players the 49ers desperately need for the playoffs
1. Arik Armstead
The 49ers defensive line has been banged up in the second half of the season. Defensive tackle Arik Armstead, usually a solid presence at the heart of that line, has been out of action for the last four games dealing with knee and foot issues.
Other players like Javon Hargrave and Kalia Davis have also missed time, but Armstead’s injury hurts the 49ers the most.
Since Armstead has been out, the defense has not been atrocious, but it certainly could have been better. They allowed the Arizona Cardinals to rack up over 200 rushing yards and allowed Lamar Jackson and the Ravens to have their way with them.
Having Armstead up front is a huge key if the 49ers are going to be able to stop the run in the playoffs. Stopping the run is something they have struggled with in his absence.
Unfortunately, Javon Kinlaw and Kevin Givens have not been able to be the force up front that Armstead usually is. The 49ers also signed Sebastian Joseph-Day to have another veteran presence on the line. If Armstead is unable to come back, expect the 49ers to lean on him more heavily.
Also, it cannot be understated how respected Armstead is on the 49ers, and especially among the D-line. Just watch this video of his teammates congratulating him on being nominated for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award again.
It is clear that Armstead is one of those players who, even just by being on the field, has a positive effect on his teammates. Getting him back will help the defense in multiple ways.
Now, from the defensive line to the receiving corps, let’s examine another 49ers injury.