Some things just don’t change.
During the collegiate careers of Leonard Fournette and Reuben Foster, it was the linebacker that got the better of the talented running back. In three years against the University of Alabama football program, the former LSU star averaged just 2.5 yards per carry and 145 yards total.
After many collisions took place between the two in the Southeastern Conference, the National Football League did not provide a different answer on Sunday. Foster led San Francisco’s defense against Fournette and the Jaguars (10-5, clinched playoff berth) at Levi’s Stadium.
Regardless of his size, speed and overall capabilities, Foster still serves as Fournette’s kryptonite both in between the tackles and on the perimeter. He was stuffed for 48 yards rushing – 2.8 yards per carry – with one touchdown on 18 carries. With Fournette limited, Foster and company generated a sack (-2) and forced three interceptions off Jaguars’ quarterback Blake Bortles.
Despite missing five games after an ankle injury in week one, Foster is currently second on the team in total tackles with 67. He follows up with 57 solo stops, seven tackles for loss and two pass breakups through nine regular season matchups. He collected five tackles, one tackle for loss, one pass breakup and one quarterback hurry in the 49ers’ 44-33 win over Jacksonville.
He would suffer a stinger in his shoulder, but the 2016 Butkus Award winner is expected to play next week against the Los Angeles Rams. With getting its quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo and the play of Foster coming up clutch, San Francisco will be a force next season in the NFC West.