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San Francisco 49ers Get Huge Defensive Boost Ahead Of Dolphins Game

49ers helmets.

The 49ers is a top-rated defense in the NFL, and it's about to get even better.

San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Arik Armstead returned to practice in limited fashion on Thursday after being sidelined with plantar fasciitis and an ankle fracture for almost two months.

Armstead, who hasn’t played since Week 4, told reporters that he plans to play against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

“Armstead probably won’t practice fully but will return to practice on Wednesday,” Matt Maiocco, 49ers reporter for NBC Sports, said on KNBR Tuesday. “He got out there a little bit and ran around on Friday. I would think that’s a guy that you want to make sure, get him a little bit more practice time, my guess is he’ll be questionable for the game. I would think that if there’s any question at all, unless he just is a clean bill of health, I can’t imagine them putting him out there for this game on Sunday. Maybe wait a week and have him ready to go against the Buccaneers."

If Armstead isn't at 100 percent, Maiocco said the 49ers would lean on the side of caution and keep him sidelined.

The top defensive lineman would join a defense that held opponents to 874 rush yards — the nation's best — through Week 13.

In his eight years in the NFL, all with the 49ers, Armstead's made 269 tackles and 28.5 sacks. In three games played this season, Armstead recorded five total tackles. That stat is expected to increase come Sunday. 

The 49ers and Dolphins are both on a four-game winning streak. The Dolphins are tied for the third-most passing touchdowns in the league with 22, thanks to Tua Tagovailoa and targets Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill. 

If Armstead is cleared to play, the additional defensive disruption would give the team a welcomed boost. 

Armstead returned to practice on Nov. 25 but did not play against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. The 49ers game against the Dolphins kicks off at 4:30 p.m. E.