Knowing they might not have Reuben Foster this season, the 49ers began formulating a Plan B long ago. They re-signed Brock Coyle, signed veteran Korey Toomer and selected BYU linebacker Fred Warner in the third round.
They also welcome the return of Malcolm Smith, who tore a pectoral muscle in training camp after signing a five-year, $26.5 million deal with the 49ers during the 2017 offseason.
“As a football player, not being able to do the thing you love and the thing you always dream of doing since you were a little boy is pretty difficult,” Smith said, via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. “It was a challenging time for me personally but it was good to see our growth as a team throughout the year. I tried to be around as much as possible.”
Smith is expected to participate in OTAs, which begin next week. The 49ers had penciled in Smith and Foster as their inside linebackers last offseason before Smith’s injury.
Now, San Francisco might not have Foster. He has a preliminary hearing Thursday on three felony charges.