The hits just keep on coming for Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster. Earlier this offseason, some were suggesting he could go as high as No. 2 overall, but since then, multiple issues have arisen that could drop his draft stock.
The latest comes courtesy of Ian Rapoport. Foster told him that he failed a drug test at the NFL Combine due to a diluted sample. The NFL’s substance abuse policy treats a diluted sample the same as a positive test. This means he will be enrolled in the NFL’s substance abuse program upon being drafted. That means increased testing and stiffer penalties for failing future tests.
Foster said the dilution came from drinking too many fluids while trying to get over something he thought might be food poisoning.
He said he was sick before the Combine. He was throwing up, had diarrhea, couldn't keep anything down and was cramping. One adviser offered to have a doctor put him on IVs to hydrate, but he didn't want that. He saw a doctor, got some medication and started hydrating himself ...
"I couldn't eat much, but I had to drink water and Gatorade," said Foster, who began the process as the consensus top linebacker based on his game tape and measurables. "Then a few coaches said something about me being too light. And I'm a coach-pleaser. I don't care what everybody thinks, but I care what coaches think. So I drank and ate as much as I could without throwing up. Then I went in there, drinking and drinking water, trying to flush out my system from whatever was making me sick and trying to keep my weight up and took the test."
Foster is likely still going to go in the first round, but it will be interesting to see how much he potentially slips. It seems highly unlikely at this point that the San Francisco 49ers spend the No. 2 pick on him. He has been up-front about these issues since the Combine, but as things keep coming up, some teams are likely going to get shaky about spending a first round draft choice on him.
Speaking of drug testing, the NFL drug testing window actually opened today. Yes, on 4/20. Players can now be randomly tested through the rest of the year, so we’ll see who is the first to pop positive.