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Arik Armstead Set to Return, Ferrell Expected to Miss Time; 3 Bye Week Takeaways

The San Francisco 49ers have officially entered postseason mode. While most playoff teams are prepping for Super Wild Card Weekend, the red and gold are taking advantage of the Bye that comes with being the NFC's No. 1 seed by getting healthy and logging practice reps. San Francisco will face the lowest-seeded team to emerge from the conference's three matchups this weekend. The only teams the 49ers are guaranteed not to see in the Divisional Round are the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys. 

Here are the three biggest takeaways from head coach Kyle Shanahan's Tuesday conference call:

The head coach shared the injury status of players that were sidelined in Week 18 and new injuries coming out of the regular season finale:

  • RB Christian McCaffrey (calf strain): will not practice this week but will be back next week
  • CB Ambry Thomas (hand): will be back at practice post-hand surgery
  • DL Arik Armstead (foot/knee): expected to be back at practice this week
  • WR Jauan Jennings (concussion): out of concussion protocol
  • S Ji'Ayir Brown (knee sprain): hope to have him back at practice this week
  • DL Clelin Ferrell (knee): expected to miss a few weeks but could return at some point in the playoffs
  • S Tayler Hawkins (wrist): will need surgery on his wrist 
  • TE George Kittle (back spasms): is "doing much better"
  • LB Dre Greenlaw (Achilles tendonitis): the team will be "smart" with him during the Bye
  • OL Jon Feliciano (back): day-to-day
  • S Tashaun Gipson Sr. (quad): hope to have him back in practice 
  • S George Odum (biceps): will have his 21-day practice day window opened this week

"Really, our goal (in Week 18) was to get out of that game healthy, and we got some guys banged up, but Clelin Ferrell is the one that we're going to lose most likely for at least a game," head coach Kyle Shanahan said. "After that, we didn't lose anyone else in the game, and it looks like we are getting most of these guys back that missed last game."

Head coach Kyle Shanahan will take the practice intensity up a notch from last week. 

The plan is to get two "hard" practices in over the course of the Bye with at least one of those workouts being a padded practice. Shanahan noted that in Week 18 the team had just one more intense practice since healthy starters were still expected to play some snaps against the Rams. With no game on the schedule this weekend, Wednesday will be open for some on-the-field work, exercise and individual drills for skill positions. Thursday and Friday will be full practices and then, players will get the weekend off.

DL Arik Armstead could have returned in Week 18 if necessary, but the early clinch of the NFC's No. 1 seed should allow him to be in even better shape for the playoffs. 

The veteran D-lineman has not played since Week 13 against the Philadelphia Eagles because of separate foot and knee issues, and today, Shanahan revealed that Armstead could have tapped in for the regular season finale if the stakes had been different. Per the head coach, Armstead did well in an evaluation on Tuesday, and those results spurred the decision to get him back into practice Thursday and possibly Friday. There was initially concern his injuries would carry into the postseason. 

"Hopefully that extra week will give him enough time to ease back into this and make him even better a week from now," Shanahan said.

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