49ers bringing Reuben Foster along slowly


49ers linebacker Reuben Foster returned to the team a week ago, after learning that he wouldn’t stand trial on two counts of felony domestic violence. But the team has not yet allowed him to practice, for reasons unrelated to the off-field entanglements.

“He’s in great shape,” 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh told reporters after Wednesday’s OTA session. “He could have [practiced] today. He could have went the first day he was allowed back. But, just like all the other guys, they’ve had a due process of Phase One, Phase Two, going through the different phases of the offseason. So, we’re just giving him a chance to get back into it. Don’t rush him. There’s no need. Hopefully we can get him back to practicing soon.”

Last year, Foster didn’t participate in the offseason program due to a lingering shoulder issue.

“[I]f he gets one snap of practice it’ll be more than what he got a year ago,” Saleh said. “So we’re excited he’s here. We’re excited that he’s working. We’re excited that he’s in meetings. He’s excited. The guys, his teammates are excited. Getting him up to speed won’t take as long and I promise you, when he gets out there, he’s going to be like a fireball. That’ll be cool to see.”

Saleh said that he had no contact with Foster during his absence, which means that Foster is getting up to speed not only physically but also mentally. For a guy who at one point seemed to be destined for a lengthy suspension at best and termination of employment at worst, it’s a huge development both for him and for the team that he’s able to play at all.

“We’re all excited,” Saleh said. “The whole organization matches his enthusiasm, and that’s not just because of Reuben the player, but Reuben the person. For people who don’t know him, and who don’t have the privilege to know him, really don’t understand what a great human being he actually is.”

Some would possibly hesitate to paint Foster with such a broad brush of positivity, at least for now. Off-field concerns helped fuel his draft-day slide in April 2017, and even though he ultimately was exonerated, the 49ers are still keeping a closer eye on Foster than they would on a player without his specific history.

But he’s back and participating and it’s a lot more than most would have expected based on the allegations he was facing. The 49ers stood by him (primarily because of his perceived value as a player; if he was a scrub he surely would have been cut), and soon the 49ers will reap the benefits of his ongoing presence.

10 responses to “49ers bringing Reuben Foster along slowly

  1. A lot of fans thought he was gone and he might go to prison for up to 11 years. It certainly has turned out differently. The final hammer will be how the NFL comes down on him and the community service he will probably get for the pending gun charge that the Judge reduced to a misdemeanor. Whatever the case, Foster is under added scrutiny to demonstrate he can make better decisions going forward.

  2. The NFL cannot win in this situation no matter what they do.
    If they discipline him, 49er fans, the NFLPA, and the media will RIP the NFL claiming that all charges were dropped so why punish Foster.
    If they don’t discipline Foster, feminist groups and the same media from above will claim that by doing nothing the NFL is enabling domestic violence done by their employees and isn’t doing enough to stop it.
    Meanwhile who sits absolutely blameless in this whole thing?
    Foster himself.
    The media characterized him as a “victim of the justice system” and they’ll make him more of a “victim” if the NFL suspends him.
    So in conclusion, the media and woman beater Foster, and the NFL get everything every way they want it.
    WHEN Foster commits DV again, guess who the media will blame? It sure as h**l won’t be Foster.

  3. redlikethepig says:
    May 31, 2018 at 6:33 am

    Does the NFL really care about abusive behavior or not?

    Not. Just look at their history.

    They look the other way with fraud also. Lisa Friel is a cancer in the NFL league office.

  4. “Does the NFL really care about abusive behavior or not?”

    Really care? No, they just want to make money. But recent outrage has changed their behaviour and domestic violence now usually entails some kind of discipline. They will care if we care.

    This case is a little different than a lot of other DV cases, though. This was not just the alleged victim refusing to cooperate. This was her retracting her entire story under oath, which is very unusual. And a lot of the evidence supported Foster’s innocence.

    I don’t know what happened that night and Reuben Foster sure needs to clean up his act (maybe leave the assault rifles in Alabama and the weed in California). But I honestly don’t think he committed domestic violence..

  5. “This was not just the alleged victim refusing to cooperate. This was her retracting her entire story under oath, which is very unusual.”

    I think you meant to say expensive instead of unusual.

  6. None of us were there. None of know what actually happened. But that does not make a bit of difference when it comes to affecting what people think of him now.

    You can’t argue that fact. Whether he is innocent or guilty, people consider him differently than they ever did before and it’s not going away.

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