The 49ers’ talent-thin roster continues to get even skinnier.
Now, San Francisco – 1-7 and in the cellar of the NFC West – is forced to play the second half of this season without its No. 1 pick from 2015, defensive end Arik Armstead.
Armstead was placed on injured reserve because of a shoulder injury that will soon require surgery. Armstead had undergone an MRI earlier this week, reported Taylor Price of 49ers.com.
It’s yet another blow to a defense that has lost several players to injury this season, including standout inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman.
Armstead had played in eight games this year, and was in on 15 tackles with 2½ sacks and a forced fumble. He was trying to build on a rookie season in which he came on strong over the second half of the season, but was dealing with a shoulder problem that surfaced in August.
Last season, the analytic website Pro Football Focus wrote that Armstead “put his physical tools to good use” in becoming a “bright spot in an otherwise lost season.”
Now he’s lost in an even worse season.
Niners head coach Chip Kelly this week said team doctors made the decision this week to put him on injured reserve. Kelly said he isn’t sure if Armstead will be available for the offseason program that begins in April.
“I just know that his shoulder is different than it was before,” Kelly said, when asked why the decision was made to end Armstead’s second season. “(Doctors) decided that the best option for him at this point in time after that MRI was to get operated on.”
To replace Armstead on the active roster, the 49ers signed former Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Chris Jones, who had been waived Monday.
The 49ers travel to Arizona Sunday to face the Cardinals. Kickoff is set for 1:25 p.m.