HomeTrade Rumors49ers to work out CB Casey Hayward and anticipate Arik Armstead's return...

49ers to work out CB Casey Hayward and anticipate Arik Armstead’s return for playoffs

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Jason Verrett ran into yet another unfortunate setback last week, suffering a season-ending shoulder injury in practice. The 49ers are looking at adding another veteran cornerback as insurance.

Enter Casey Hayward, whom KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson notes worked out for the 49ers on Tuesday. Hayward, 34, has not played this season. But the 49ers, as their continued Verrett interest and past in-season additions show, place value on veteran corners in the event of injuries to regulars. They again want a veteran corner on their practice squad, per The Athletic’s Matt Barrows.

San Francisco brought in the likes of Jackrabbit Jenkins, Josh Norman, Dre Kirkpatrick and Darqueze Dennard from 2021-22; that group joined Verrett, whom the team continued to prioritize in recent offseasons despite his near-annual injury troubles. Hayward spent last season with the Falcons, but the team cut him early during the 2023 offseason.

The former Packers, Chargers and Raiders cover man played well in 2021, garnering a two-year, $11MM Atlanta agreement in March 2022. But he sustained a shoulder injury that limited him to six games last season. A 118-game starter who played on five straight Gus Bradley-run defenses from 2017-21, Hayward was medically cleared this summer. The 49ers are in fairly good shape at corner, with Charvarius Ward making the Pro Bowl and Deommodore Lenoir, Ambry Thomas and ex-Hayward Falcons teammate Isaiah Oliver in place as sidekicks.

More relevant to the No. 1-seeded team’s Super Bowl chase: Arik Armstead appears set to return from his latest injury trouble. The veteran defensive tackle has missed the past five games due to foot and knee injuries. Armstead will practice this week, and Kyle Shanahan said (via the San Francisco Chronicle’s Eric Branch) he could have played against the Rams — had the team needed to win its regular-season finale. A ninth-year 49er, Armstead has been pivotal to the team’s Nick Bosa-era D-lines. He is set to team with Bosa, Javon Hargrave and Chase Young upon returning for the divisional round.

The 49ers also designated safety George Odum for return from IR, ESPN.com’s Nick Wagoner tweets. Odum, used primarily on special teams during his San Francisco tenure, suffered a biceps injury on Thanksgiving. While that malady was expected to sideline the former All-Pro for the season’s remainder, Odum will be in play to return for the 49ers’ divisional-round game.

The news on 49ers defensive end Clelin Ferrell is not as good. The free agency pickup is likely to miss a few weeks due to a knee injury, Shanahan said. The seventh-year HC did stop short of saying this is a season-ending setback, however. Despite the arrivals of Young and Randy Gregory, Ferrell — who had drifted to healthy-scratch status at points with the Raiders — has started all 17 games this season. Shanahan added Drake Jackson, who has been on IR since November with a knee injury, is not healthy enough to practice.

In the event Odum comes back and Jackson is healthy enough to return, the 49ers are in good shape for injury activations. After using all eight of their IR-return moves during the regular season last year, they have five activations left.

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