The 49ers already have lost Tank Carradine and Ronald Blair to injuries this season.
Now, Arik Armstead could be lost.
Armstead, the team’s No. 1 draft pick three years ago and a starting defensive end, suffered a broken hand in Sunday’s loss at Washington.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan says the injury may require surgery and put Armstead on the sideline for “some time.” Shanahan said a decision would be made soon on whether to put Armstead on injured reserve, which would end his season.
Armstead’s status for Sunday’s game against the visiting Dallas Cowboys is doubtful. Also, it appears Aaron Lynch – who replaced Armstead when he had to leave the game against Washington last week – could be out of the Cowboys game with a calf strain.
“We know we’re going to have Lynch out, too, for at least a week or most likely more,” Shanahan said. “That takes away two guys who were helping.”
Armstead has been hampered by injuries in his brief career. Last season he missed eight games with a shoulder injury.
Armstead has played well this season at times. Against the Rams he had two pressures and two run stops and was very active. He has 16 tackles and 1½ sacks. The analytic website Pro Football Focus has given him an “average” grade at his position for 2017.
Losing Armstead will definitely be a blow to the 49ers defensive line, which has become quite thin. The loss of Armstead, Lynch, Carradine and Blair hurts. Shanahan said, “I’m sure we’re going to get someone else here” to fill the void.
“The more guys you lose, the less you like that depth,” said Shanahan.
The 49ers, 0-6, will host the 2-3 Cowboys Sunday at 1:05 p.m.