The San Francisco 49ers had Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster ranked No. 3 on their big board, so to see him available at No. 31 was a huge coup for them. Of course, why he slipped is the big question. The failed drug test and Combine altercation have both been mentioned, but Foster’s shoulder is the biggest concern for some folks.
Prior to the draft, there was some discussion about his shoulder, and the potential need for a second surgery following a pre-Combine surgery. ESPN’s Adam Schefter offered up a report on that on Wednesday. It does not offer a lot of new information, although it does include one source saying the surgery didn’t take, and another source predicting Foster would not make it through his rookie season, and the shoulder could give in on any hit.
When Foster met with the media on Friday for his formal introductory press conference, he got a couple questions about the shoulder. He said he is making “big progress,” and that while he will be limited in OTAs, he would be “full-go” for training camp. He said the reports that he would need an additional surgery were, “not accurate at all. I’m fine. I’m on schedule.”
When the 49ers were preparing to make the Foster selection following their move up, John Lynch asked for one final word on the medical side. MMQB’s Peter King was in the war room and reported that when Lynch asked the team’s chief medical officer, Jeff Ferguson, if he was worried about Foster’s shoulder, Ferguson said, “What shoulder?” They were comfortable with what the medical reports told them.
Now, we really just have to sit and wait. We’re left with conflicting reports of where things stand, and what we can expect this coming year. A year ago, the Buffalo Bills drafted Shaq Lawson after his shoulder was flagged at the Combine due to an injury. At his initial media session, Lawson said surgery he was not going to need surgery. Two weeks later he needed shoulder surgery to correct an issue. It was his first surgery on the shoulder, so this is not quite apples to apples. But, it is worth just keeping the potential for a second surgery on our radar.