49ers place Arik Armstead on I.R.


The 49ers just announced they have placed defensive lineman Arik Armstead on the Injured Reserve list. His season is over.

Armstead injured his shoulder during training camp and played through the injury for months. This afternoon in the locker room, I asked him if he benefited from playing through the injury. “Ummmmm,” he said. Then he paused for three seconds. “In some ways, yeah.” Another long pause. “Playing football, you get better. So, in some ways, yeah.”

What do you think of Armstead’s answer? And what do you think of the timing of this move?

This article has 18 Comments

  1. I think he’s packing it in because there is little to play for. Why bother playing through pain when the season is already lost.

  2. Armstead’s answer was um telling. He knew he has been ineffective. It sounds like he is blaming the injury and he’s probably right to a certain extent.

    The timimg, about a month too late IMO. But the team just lost its 7th game. That officially eliminates them from the playoffs. This is a white flag move.

  3. I think Armstead’s answer is soft. The type of answer you expect from a soft, me first player that doesn’t understand what it means to be part of a team working hard for each other. Even if he doesn’t feel it helped his game and development personally (which quite frankly it will have, as despite playing poorly and hampered by his injury on a bad team he has had an opportunity to play and learn), he should have wanted to be out there helping his team and teammates for as long as he could. Which I am guessing he did want previously, as he seemed fine with the idea of playing through the injury until now.

    So what do I make of his answer? That the team has lost its will and want to. Which was evident just from watching them play.

    And what do I make of the timing? Well, I think he probably did exacerbate the injury so it is likely as much about that as anything, but I think it also coincides with Armstead punching out mentally.

    1. Hmmm, that came across as more of an attack on Armstead than I meant. I don’t mean I think Armstead is soft per se, just that his response is one I would associate with a me first thinker. But I think a large part of the reason his mindset is like that right now is because of where the team is at. Season already over at the midpoint of the season, poor FO leadership, poor coaching, general lack of talent, and a lack of veteran leadership on the playing the roster.

    2. Scooter, I thought you were better than that. Never diss an injured player, especially when he tried so hard to keep playing.

      Glad to see your later comment. It is better for AA to get surgery to fix his injury, and not play and hurt it even more.

      He was hurting the team with his play, but he was also trying to play with one arm. To me, that sounds like he is a warrior, and a good team player.

      Maybe the coaches will coach better when they put out players who have 2 healthy arms.

      1. Oh quit whining. Perhaps if you take my two comments in agreggate you will see what I was getting at was not meant to be an attack on the player but more about the mentality of the team atm. Or maybe you won’t. You haven’t shown much aptitude with comprehension in the past.

        1. Notice I said that I was glad to see your later comment, so my post was pretty innocuous. I did not rail at your insensitivity or call you names.

  4. If he says “no” then he’s throwing the coaches under the bus. If he says “yes” then he might be compelled to explain his poor performances in more detail.

    He was simply trying to give the safest answer he could come up with.

  5. Scooter,

    Well, he certainly could’ve just said yes, but he was clearly never fully healthy at any point during the season, a season that ended with him exacerbating his shoulder injury to the point of needing to be put on IR.

    It seems a qualified answer was justified, at lease somewhat…

    1. He wasn’t asked if he thought he was able to play unhindered or to his potential, nor whether the injury bothered him or his impact for the team. He was asked if he thought he (personally) had benifitted from playing. Why does he need to qualify that answer? Why the need for long pauses to gather the ‘right’ answer which still only came out as a veiled questioning of the decision to have him playing?

      It should have been a straight forward answer to a straight forward question – any time you get to go out and play you learn, get to understand the game and opponents better. He’ll be (or at least should be) better prepared when he comes back next year. Instead he took an approach that makes it appear he questions why he was out there.

      1. Scooter
        You’re a thoughtful guy who does your homework, so I always give your pov consideration, but in this case I feel like you’re making a mountain out of a mole hill. I think you’re reading too much into it. When asked to reflect on a course of action in my business life or personal life, I could see pausing to consider the good and bad (that’s in everything we experience) before offering a judgement that acknowledges both.
        WRT the physical aspect, I’m glad he’s resting it now.

      2. Scooter,

        OK, but the question was pretty odd and I doubt Armstead had ever talked about whether he had benefitted from a playing or not. It may be he was just trying to answer an off the wall question thoughtfully.

        It may also be exactly as you’ve said, it just seems you have an unusually strong opinion on this, when we necessarily don’t know what armstead was thinking.

        IMO, it’s fairly likely that he didn’t really benefit much from playing injured, but he played anyway because he felt it helped the team.

        I’m not sure if you saw Sunday’s game, but he looked like he was trying to work his shoulder so he could get back in the game. Also, he did play hurt, probably with an injury that he knew was going to require surgery all along (which he kept to himself). These behaviors don’t seem be those of someone who is an overly selfish or “me first” type, IMO.

          1. The inference I drew was you were specifically asking if playing with an injury yielded any valuable experience, beyond that gained from simply playing (“…I asked him if he benefitted from playing through the injury.”).

            IMO, that’s a bit of an odd question. Perhaps if it was given some context, it might not seem as unusual.

        1. What is odd is not questioning the doctors and trainers for putting out an obviously injured and limited player on the field.

          The other teams saw he was limited, and ran right at him.

          Just like Kaep and his shoulder, they misdiagnosed the problem, and are a bunch of quacks.

  6. It’s absolutely the right move. The 49ers may have seriously damaged this kids career by not putting him on IR as soon as he injured the shoulder. TOTAL speculation on my part but the way Armstead was moving his shoulder when he was on the ground looked to me like he was trying to pop it back into socket. If you’ve ever dislocated your shoulder you will know what that is like. Once you dislocate your shoulder one time there is a good chance you can dislocate it again. The more often you dislocate it the looser the socket becomes which can cause permanent damage for an athlete. If the 49ers continued to play Armstead when he needed surgery to repair a dislocated shoulder then the 49ers may have ruined Armstead’s career. I can’t believe they would jeopardize the long term prospects of a valuable player for them so there must be more to this story. When I saw him rotating that shoulder it seemed exactly like what I’ve been through. It absolutely sucks. I feel for the kid.

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