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Arik Armstead Misses Yet Another Practice

When will he return?
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AIR FORCE ACADEMY, CO. -- For weeks, the 49ers have said Arik Arsmtead is close to returning from an ankle injury. For weeks, he hasn't practiced. Today was no different.

Armstead was nowhere to be seen when the 49ers practiced in the snow to prepare for their Monday night game against the Arizona Cardinals in Mexico City. While other injured players such as Samson Ebukam were working on the side, Armstead was missing in action.

Armstead came down with plantar fascia in his right foot Week 2. Then he missed Week 3, returned for Week 4, suffered a stress reaction and hairline fracture in his left tibia and hasn't played since.

The 49ers apparently thought the injury was minor and the recovering would be quick -- that's the only explanation for them not placing Armstead on Injured Reserve after Week 4. Players are eligible to return to the active roster after spending four weeks on I.R., which means Armstead would be eligible to return right now if he had been placed on that list.

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So the 49ers have wasted a roster spot since Week 4. They've been playing with 52 healthy players and Armstead, who's not fit to practice. The 49ers have completely mismanaged his season.

Armstead injured his knee on the first play of training camp, then missed the rest of camp plus preseason. So he has been healthy only for a couple weeks since the end of July. The 49ers probably hope he will return when they get home from Mexico City, but he hasn't shown any signs of progress yet.

We'll see if he shows up tomorrow.