The San Francisco 49ers are expected to learn within the next week whether or not linebacker Reuben Foster will be charged in his domestic violence and weapons possession case. He has a court date set for April 12th, and the DA’s office said any decision on charges should be known by then.
Even if Foster is not charged, he could still face discipline from the NFL. The league does their own investigation and will decide separately if he will face a suspension for his role in the February incident. And naturally, the 49ers are preparing for this as if discipline happens.
NFL Network reporter Jim Trotter recently discussed Foster’s situation. He did not say, “sources tell me” or “I’m hearing,” but his comments would suggest he has spoken with someone(s) in the organization.
”What they’re doing at this point is hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. And what they’re preparing for is that he will be out at least six games because of the domestic violence case that he was involved with.
”Now look, he is a major player for them. That’s why they went and got him in the first round last year. They believe that he has that impact, and guys rally around him, and that sort of thing. But also, there are some in the organization that believe if he is out, it could be good for him from this standpoint: The lesson learned that you are going to be held accountable for your actions at this point.
”We know the 49ers have had some issues in the past. They’ve tried to change the locker room: the culture and whatnot. This is something, obviously, that they did not want but they believe now that he could learn from this and they’re expecting that he will be out at least six games, and it could be longer. Remember, the personal conduct policy says if there are mitigating circumstances, it could be more than six games. And that’s always a possibility here.”
The 49ers have talked about Foster needing to stay out of trouble, but I don’t recall hearing any open discussions about a potential suspension. They seem fairly confident he will not face significant legal issues, but they also seem to be preparing themselves for the fact that that might not matter to the NFL. The commissioner’s office has been woefully inconsistent when it comes to discipline, so you can’t really assume anything. Thus, it makes sense to assume the worst in that regard.
We will likely know whether or not Foster will be charged within the next week. However, there is no timeline for when the NFL will decide on any potential discipline of their own for Foster.