Defensive lineman Arik Armstead will be out indefinitely with a broken hand, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan announced Monday.
“He’s going to need surgery, so it’s going to be some time,” Shanahan said of Armstead, the 49ers' first-round pick in the 2015 draft.
The 49ers will discuss placing Armstead of injured reserve, which would rule him out for at least eight weeks. The 49ers will also be without defensive end Aaron Lynch this week against the Dallas Cowboys. Lynch is week-to-week with a calf strain.
“The more guys you lose, the less you like that depth,” Shanahan said. “Losing Arik, which could be some time. We’ll have to discuss IR. We have to do that over the next couple of days. We know we’re going to have Lynch out, too, for at least a week or most likely more. That takes away two guys who were helping.”
The 49ers might make a roster move to add a defensive lineman to their 53-man roster. The 49ers also expect outside linebacker/defensive end Dekoda Watson to return to action this week after missing two weeks with a groin strain.
The move to rookie C.J. Beathard as the 49ers’ starting quarterback is intended to be for the remainder of the season. But Brian Hoyer knows things can always change.
Hoyer, who played ineffectively after winning the starting job in the offseason, was benched on Sunday in the second quarter against Washington. The winless 49ers are Hoyer’s seventh team in nine NFL seasons, so he is familiar with rejection.
“I’ve been in this situation before and C.J. is a great kid, so I’ll be there every day trying to help him as much as I can,” Hoyer said.
“Also, the other thing is, you never know what’s going to happen – injuries and stuff like that. Obviously, you never wish that upon people but that’s what happened to me in Houston and I was right back in a few weeks later. So you’ve always got to stay ready and just be ready to do your job.”
Hoyer started for the Texans in Week 1 of 2015. Ryan Mallett took over in Week 2, but Hoyer returned to the starting lineup in Week 6.
Coach Kyle Shanahan decided to go with Beathard after Hoyer completed just four of his 11 pass attempts for 34 yards in four offensive possessions. The 49ers managed just two first downs (one by penalty) and 39 yards with Hoyer in the game.
“I can understand what Kyle did,” Hoyer said. “He tried to change some things up. I thought C.J. came in and gave those guys some life a little bit.
“It’s part of the job and, unfortunately, when you don’t play as well as you like, and your offense doesn’t play as well as you like, he’s forced to make that decision. I have the utmost respect for Kyle and I knew he was firm on his decision and I just went about trying to support C.J. as best I could.”
Beathard completed 19 of 36 passes for 245 yards with one touchdown – a 45-yard strike to Aldrick Robinson – and one interception on a desperation fourth-down attempt on the 49ers’ final offensive play of the game.
Beathard said he felt a lot of support from all of his teammates during the 49ers’ 26-24. The 49ers rallied from a 17-point deficit to tie the game in the third quarter.
“It was awesome,” said Beathard, a third-round draft pick from Iowa. “I think this team showed a lot of fight and battled hard until the end. But (we) just couldn’t get the job done. We are going to come back and get back to work on Monday and Tuesday. We have another one this week (at Levi’s Stadium against the Dallas Cowboys), so hopefully we can get a win.”