The San Francisco 49ers have yet to get a “full” game out of rookie linebacker Reuben Foster, but on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, we saw some of the extent of his potential. Foster left the game for two snaps when he tweaked his ankle, but otherwise he was a full participant for the first time in 2017. And he most definitely showed what he can bring to the table.
Foster finished the game with 14 total tackles (13 solo) per official NFL stats, and five “stops” per Pro Football Focus. PFF gave him their “game ball” for 49ers-Cardinals as he was in a 60 minute competition against future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson in the run game. We saw his speed and athleticism on display throughout, and given the injuries we have seen it was great to see him get in such a sizable workload.
After the game, Kyle Shanahan said the injury was some lingering effects of the high ankle sprain, and they are something that will probably linger throughout the season. Heading into the game, I had lowered my expectations to just wanting to see Foster complete a game. While he did miss the two snaps, he returned quickly and was able to make an impact throughout the rest of the game.
My favorite play was probably late in the game when Adrian Peterson got the hand-off on a 3rd and 1. Foster burst through and helped make the stop. The 49ers were unable to capitalize on it, but plays like this could become a regular occurrence if Foster can stay on the field.
Reuben Foster is fired up as #49ers get the red zone stop on third down. pic.twitter.com/4rMD2bfHGx— Rob Lowder (@Rob_Lowder) November 5, 2017
Here are some of Foster’s comments following the game.
Did you get banged up a little early?
“It was just a nick. Injuries don’t recover right then and there. Thank God that it wasn’t too serious. I just recovered back.”
Was it the high ankle sprain that re-occurs every now and then?
“Yes. It scared me for a minute, but it is like a shoulder it feels like it is gone but you still have a little nick. All it can do is just get better if you just rehab and listen to the doctors.”
You seemed to be flying around the field and it didn’t seem to bother you or affect your speed. Do you feel like you are as fast as you have been?
“Yes. I feel great. I feel blessed. I am not injured or hurting. I feel good. I just want to go out there and do it for the fellas.”
How important was it for you to be able to finish a game?
“It was very important from a mind standpoint. I have been hurt for the two games that I started. It is bad luck. You just can’t ask God for no injuries or to not get hurt but if it happens it happens. I am happy that I finished the game all four quarters. ”
What was it like to have some violent collisions against a future Hall of Famer in Arizona Cardinals RB Adrian Peterson?
“I felt good hitting him. That is one of the greats. I watched him when I thought about playing football. To play against him, you know that he has some good wisdom under his belt. He is tricky. He has the vet moves. He did a great job today and I was honored to play against him.”