The San Francisco 49ers might be without rookie linebacker Reuben Foster for at least a couple weeks. He suffered a leg injury in Sunday’s loss to the Carolina Panthers, and Ian Rapoport is reporting the preliminary diagnosis is a high ankle sprain. Rapoport reported that more tests are coming, but Foster “[w]ill miss time.”
Foster went down in the first quarter and immediately grabbed his ankle. He was carted off, but later in the first half walked to the sideline. He was unassisted, but was walking with a significant limp. He was initially ruled questionable to return, but was downgraded to out in the second half.
After the game, head coach Kyle Shanahan said the injury was not as bad as it looked, with some initial concerns about a fracture. X-rays came back negative, and Foster later said that he felt he would be able to play this Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. He said there had been a lot of initial pain, but the more he walked the more it loosened up.
An x-ray won’t reveal a high ankle sprain, but a subsequent MRI would help with that. A high ankle sprain can cost a player anywhere from a couple weeks to a month or more. Players have returned quickly, but it is not an easy injury for a quick recovery. And given the importance of maneuvering in coverage, it would make sense for Foster to rest the ankle. There has been talk he could return right away, but Kyle Shanahan should have more to say when he meets with the media at 4:00 p.m. PT on Monday.