There are few defensive linemen around the NFL with a happier disposition than the 49ers Arik Armstead. So you know that when he is unhappy with you, you’ve really done something you shouldn’t have. And on Sunday, after the 49ers win over the Jaguars in Jacksonville, Armstead was less than thrilled with offensive lineman Brandon Scherff, accusing him of a “dirty play.”
Armstead was asked in his meeting with the media if he was hurt during the game, because it looked like he, “took one in the shin.” Armstead said that is not quite what happened.
“I didn’t take one in the shin, he tripped me, kicked me in my knee,” he explained. “Messed up my day. But …”
After fielding another question, the topic turned back to the encounter with Scherff. He was asked if he was healthy after the play. “I should be straight,” he said.
Armstead said at the time the play unfolded, in the first quarter, he was not quite sure what had gone down. “I didn’t know what happened,” he said. “I had a lot of respect for him. But tripping him and kicking me in my knee, I could have gotten seriously hurt. Just a dirty play.”
#49ers DT Arik Armstead was not pleased with Jaguars OL Brandon Scherff, who appeared to trip him early in game:
"I didn’t know what happened. I have a lot of respect for him but tripping me, kicking me in my knee, I could have got seriously hurt. (It was) a dirty play.”
— Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) November 12, 2023
Arik Armstead, Brandon Scherff Have Long History
There’s plenty of reason for the 49ers’ Arik Armstead to have respect for Brandon Scherff—he is one of the best guards of his generation and is a possible future Hall of Famer. Scherff came into the league at the same time as Armstead, and was the fifth overall pick by Washington out of Iowa in 2015. In that same draft, Armstead was chosen by the 49ers 17th overall.
Scherff is a three-time All-Pro and a five-time Pro Bowl selection. In Washington, Scherff was a teammate of 49ers star tackle Trent Williams, and the pair spent four years on the same offensive line.
But if Scherff did truly mess up Armstead’s day, he did not much show it. The 49ers were generally ebullient after Sunday’s game, which ended the team’s three-game losing streak and saw them return to the dominant form they showed when they started the year 5-0.
49ers Defense Returns to Form
On the day, Arik Armstead tallied three tackles and split a sack, one of five registered by the 49ers in Week 10. That’s more than double what the Jaguars typically allow, which is 2.4 per game. The defense forced quarterback Trevor Lawrence into two interceptions, after he had thrown just four all season heading into Week 10.
The addition of new edge rusher Chase Young helped. Having him bookended with star Nick Bosa figures to open more sack opportunities for everyone. But getting the 49ers back to their identity after the three-game skid was the bigger takeaway from the Week 10 defensive performance.
“We know who we are, we know what we’re capable of,” Armstead said. “We’ve got a high standard for ourselves. You know, bigger than any people or any outside people can put on us. We want to be great. We want to be dominant. And we want to play at a high level. We know our team is gonna need us to do that if we want to get where we want to go.”