It was a tumultuous 2018 offseason for San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster. He was arrested in January for possession of marijuana in Tuscaloosa. Then, in February he was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence and assault weapons charges. Those incidents put him on thin ice with 49ers general manager Jon Lynch.
Thankfully for Foster, the domestic violence charges were dropped due to a fabricated story by the “alleged” victim. He did however, receive a two-game suspension by the NFL because of the marijuana and weapons charges. After serving his punishment, Foster is now eligible to play and seems ready to grow as a professional.
49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has high expectations for the former the Alabama star. “Reuben’s one of our best players,” remarked Shanahan. “Just having his presence out there, from a leadership standpoint, guys gravitate to him.” That’s great praise and it means that the 49ers aren’t ready to give up on Foster. It also indicates that the organization expects better conduct from him because he is already viewed a team leader in just his second pro season.
This Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs will be a defining moment in the career of Reuben Foster. After showing great promise as a rookie (72 tackles in 11 games) Foster will be given a second chance. It will allow him the opportunity to reintroduce himself to the world after it seemed unlikely that he would play again.
The 49ers need a mature Foster going forward if they expect to take the next step as potential playoff team. His availability gives the 49ers a linebacker who is strong against the run and pass. His ability to match up with Chiefs All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce will be needed greatly, as the Kansas City offense is showing no sign of slowing down in 2018. Welcome back Reuben.