The San Francisco 49ers suffered a major setback to its impressive front seven on Tuesday when Ray-Ray Armstrong was placed on the injured reserve list.
The outside linebacker suffered a torn pectoral muscle during the third quarter of the Niners’ Week 2 matchup against the Carolina Panthers.
“It sucks,” defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil said. “I’ve said all along that we’re going to need [special teamer Michael] Wilhoite, we’re going to need [backup linebacker] Gerald [Hodges] to help us win football games and those guys will step up and they’ll do a great job in that role.”
Armstrong was enjoying his best season as a pro, logging seven solo tackles — including one for a loss — recovering a fumble and intercepting a pass.
“I thought he was playing his butt off,” O’Neil said. “He was playing a really good game for us. He made some splash plays in that Carolina game. It’s just one of those unfortunate deals that happen in this league.”
Injuries make being a fan of the NFL harder than any other major sport in the country.
After years of struggling to get on the field for both the Oakland Raiders and the Niners, Armstrong emerged as a solid partner with NaVorro Bowman in a surprisingly good unit. For his part, he attempted to put the injury into perspective on Instagram, posting a photo of him praying in the end zone with the caption, “I’ll be back better than before.”
The 49ers feasibly could re-add him to the active roster by the end of the year, but can only activate one player from the IR per season.
It’s just too bad he won’t be able to play in Seattle this week, because if there’s one guy excitable enough to thrive among the noise at CenturyLink Field, it’s the guy who got pumped up by the infamous field-runner in Week 1.Jim O’NeilRay-Ray ArmstrongSan Francisco 49ers