SANTA CLARA — Arik Armstead had a goal of playing in all 16 games in a season, and the 49ers defensive lineman accomplished the feat this year.

That included playing in the final game of the season with a cast on his right hand after he fractured a bone in Week 16 against the Bears.

Armstead said no decision has been made on if he will need surgery during the offseason. He was wearing a splint on his pinky finger and his hand was wrapped when the team cleared out their locker rooms for the season.

The 2015 first-round pick has had a tough time staying the on the field, playing in only 14 games over his second and third years combined.

After finally playing an entire season, Armstead spoke about his goals moving forward. 

“I just want to continue to get better,” Armstead said. “This year was a good stepping stone for my career, playing a full 16 games. That was my main goal this year. I think when I’m healthy I can do some good things out there. I want to build on that for next year.” 

Armstead finished the season with 48 total tackles, 33 of which were solo. He also had six tackles for a loss. He registered three sacks and 12 quarterback hits.

While his impact on the game might not be something that shows up on stats sheets, Amrstead says that the people who matter, know what he is capable of. Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman has been very complementary of him throughout the season, noting that Armstead does more than what shows up on paper. 

 

“Yeah, you always want those stats,” Armstead said, “but they don’t always happen and you got to find ways to be impactful in the game through those things. People who don’t know football can say a bunch of things looking at the stat line at the end of the game, but I think true football people will notice what you do out there and notice how effective you are.” 

The 49ers have had difficulty getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks and Armstead is quite aware of the talk of adding a pass rusher on the defensive line this offseason. 

“The more talented linemen and good players we have on the line, we’re going to embrace them," Armstead said. "We’re going to try to dominate. The more the merrier.” 

Knowing it adds value, Armstead has played at multiple spots on the defensive line and says that he is comfortable wherever they need him. 

“I’m pretty versatile,” Armstead said. “They’ve moved me around a lot. I’ve grown to be comfortable in a lot of positions. Wherever they need me to play I have to find a way to make plays there. So I feel comfortable all over the line.

“I think it’s necessary for the defense depending on what the offense is trying to do, down and distance. So I think as a defensive lineman you have to be versatile. You don’t want to be a one-trick pony”

The fifth year option on Armstead’s contract is worth over $9 million dollars. He said he will leave it up to his agent and management to determine the options of negotiating a multi-year deal or playing through his contract.