Arik Armstead played with a club on his injured hand as a freshman at Oregon and would have done the same this year had he been able.
The nature of the fracture in his left hand, however, took away that option and he instead is on injured reserve and likely out for the season. Armstead, the 49ers’ first-round draft pick in 2015, declined an interview request on Thursday.
A day earlier, however, he tweeted a photo of himself playing at Oregon with his hand bandaged and with the caption: “For all you geniuses that think your (sic) doctors. If I could play with a club I would.”
This is the second straight year Armstead (Pleasant Grove High School) has gone on injured reserve at midseason. He played with a shoulder injury last year that eventually required surgery and forced him to miss the last eight games.
Though he exited Sunday’s game early in the second quarter, defensive coordinator Robert Saleh noted the injury happened early in the first quarter and that Armstead played for the next 15 minutes with the fracture.
“I would never question that man’s toughness,” Saleh said. “If he could have played with a club, he would have. If he could play with one hand, he’d play with one hand. It’s just unfortunate the injury had the location of where it was. … It was just an unlucky break on his part.”
Armstead had been playing the so-called “big end” spot in the 49ers’ lineup, the spot where a couple of other injured players, Ronald Blair (hand) and Tank Carradine (ankle), also played earlier this year.
San Francisco signed a pair of defensive linemen, Tony McDaniel and Leger Douzable, earlier this week. Both can play the end position, Saleh said, although McDaniel has more experience there than Douzable.
Hall released – Nine days after the team signed veteran cornerback Leon Hall to shore up their shaky secondary, they released him and re-signed tight end Logan Paulsen, who was let go earlier in the week.
The 49ers need another tight end because they are expected to be without Kyle Juszczyk (back) for the second straight week.
Hall, 32, spent nine seasons with the Bengals and last year played 12 games with the New York Giants at safety and cornerback. The 49ers were banged up at cornerback last week, but Hall was one of the seven inactive players for Sunday’s game in Washington.
The 49ers created a roster spot for Hall last week by placing Asa Jackson (hamstring) on injured reserve.