Arik Armstead, a stalwart on the 49ers’ defensive line, should be ready to return to practice this week.
But coach Kyle Shanahan suggested the team might hold him out a little while longer as he fully recovers from a knee injury sustained during the first on-field work of training camp.
“He's coming along,” Shanahan said of Armstead. “I bet you he could go. I bet you he'd be all right this week if we really wanted to push it. We'll watch him here the next couple days.
“And I think we're a little more hesitant for his first practices back to be against another team, to be against Minnesota. So the odds are we'll wait on him. But he's doing a good job.”
The 49ers are scheduled to practice Sunday and Monday in Santa Clara. Then, the team will travel to Minnesota to square off in practices Wednesday and Thursday against the Vikings.
The 49ers face Minnesota on Saturday night in Week 2 of the preseason. Quarterback Trey Lance and many of the 49ers’ regulars will take part in the two practices but are not expected to play in the game.
Armstead, 28, enters his eighth NFL season. He sustained his injury -- a partially torn medial collateral ligament in his knee -- on July 27. The injury did not require surgery.
Shanahan said at the time that Armstead would be out “a few weeks,” but expressed optimism he would be available long in advance of the 49ers’ season opener on Sept. 11 against the Chicago Bears.
Armstead moved full time to defensive tackle in the middle of last season and responded with six sacks and a career-best 63 tackles in 17 regular-season games.