Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports



San Francisco 49ers rookie linebacker Reuben Foster got an opportunity to work with the first-team defense during Thursday's practice. He was credited with two sacks and a tipped pass, which resulted in an interception for linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong.

Following practice, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said that Foster got an opportunity due to linebacker NaVorro Bowman getting a veteran day off and an injury to Brock Coyle. Foster was supposed to work at the Mike linebacker position with the second-team defense, but Coyle's injury bumped him up to the ones. Shanahan said that the Mike position is similar to where Foster has been practicing with just some communication differences.

How did Shanahan evaluate the linebacker's play on Thursday?

"He did solid," Shanahan said. "I'll watch more when I see the tape. We threw him at a different position today for the first time. Threw him at somewhat of a Mike linebacker. We rested a number of our guys so it gave him some [opportunities]. I thought he did a good job. We just threw him in there and he started moving a lot. He's got to make all the calls. I think like anybody in his first time at it, I think he had a few busts. But I think there's good stuff for him to get in and watch the tape and learn from."

Foster has been a full participant in training camp practices since being medically cleared by team doctors last Wednesday. The 31st overall pick was limited during the 49ers' entire offseason program as he recovered from surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder. It was an injury that caused his draft stock to drop and allowed the 49ers to trade back into the first round and select the rookie phenom.

Despite major concerns from other teams, Shanahan, Foster, and general manager John Lynch had always stated that they believed the rookie would be ready for training camp.



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