The return of rookie Reuben Foster signaled the end of Ray-Ray Armstrong’s involvement in the 49ers’ defense.
Foster started on Sunday in the 49ers’ 20-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals and played 75 of the team’s 77 snaps. He exited briefly in the second half with a right ankle injury.
“It scared me for a minute,” Foster said. “But it is like a shoulder. It feels like it is gone, but you still have a little nick. All it can do is just get better if you just rehab and listen to the doctors.”
Foster played the weakside linebacker position and led the 49ers with 14 tackles, including one stop for a loss, as he played his most snaps of any game this season. It was only the third game in which Foster has appeared this season. He missed five games with a high right ankle sprain. When he returned to action Oct. 22 against Dallas, he sustained a ribs injury that forced him to miss last week’s game against Philadelphia.
“I feel great. I feel blessed,” Foster said. “I am not injured or hurting. I feel good. I just want to go out there and do it for the fellas.
“It was very important (to finish the game) from a mind standpoint. I have been hurt for the two games that I started. It is bad luck. You just can’t ask God for no injuries or to not get hurt, but if it happens, it happens. I am happy that I finished the game all four quarters.”
Middle linebacker Brock Coyle started at the other inside linebacker position, while Armstrong, who has played a significant role on defense with five starts, was on the field for only one defensive snap.
Here is a look at the 49ers’ playing time on offense, defense and special teams:
Quarterback – C.J. Beathard 74
Running back – Carlos Hyde 56, Matt Breida 17, Kyle Juszczyk 17, Raheem Mostert 1
Wide receiver – Marquise Goodwin 67, Aldrick Robinson 62, Kendrick Bourne 40, Trent Taylor 15, Victor Bolden 6
Tight end – Garrett Celek 55, George Kittle 33
Offensive line – Brandon Fusco 74, Laken Tomlinson 74, Trent Brown 74, Erik Magnuson 74, Daniel Kilgore 73, Zane Beadles 2
Defensive line – DeForest Buckner 64, Leger Douzable 56, Earl Mitchell 48, Datone Jones 41, Ronald Blair 39, Tony McDaniel 17, Elvis Dumervil 15
Linebacker – Reuben Foster 75, Brock Coyle 64, Eli Harold 52, Dekoda Watson 15, Mark Nzeocha 2, Ray-Ray Armstrong 1
Cornerback – Dontae Johnson 77, Ahkello Witherspoon 77, Leon Hall 36, Greg Mabin 1
Safety – Eric Reid 77, Adrian Colbert 62, Jaquiski Tartt 19, Dexter McCoil 8
Watson 27, Armstrong 22, Mostert 22, Nzeocha 22, Harold 21, Bolden 18, Coyle 17, McCoil 17, Bradley Pinion 13, Johnson 11, Kyle Nelson 10, Andy Lee 9, Blair 9, Breida 9, Mabin 9, Bourne 7, Reid 7, Buckner 7, Jones 7, Juszczyk 6, Witherspoon 5, Coyle 5, Douzable 5, Mitchell 5, Taylor 4, Celek 4, Tartt 4, Robbie Gould 2, Cole Hikutini 2, Darrell Williams 2, Fusco 2, Tomlinson 2, Brown 2, Kilgore 2, Beadles 2, Hall 1
DID NOT PLAY
QB Jimmy Garoppolo
DB K’Waun Williams (quadriceps)
LB Pita Taumoepenu
DL Aaron Lynch (calf)
OT Joe Staley (eye)
OT Garry Gilliam (knee)
DT D.J. Jones (knee)
DT Solomon Thomas (knee)