Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports



The injury to San Francisco 49ers rookie linebacker Reuben Foster took a lot of the energy out of Levi's Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Following a run-in with Carolina Panthers lineman Matt Kalil late in the first quarter, Foster grabbed at his lower right ankle and fans feared the worst. He was carted to the 49ers' locker room for X-rays and the Panthers would score on the very next play on their way to a 23-3 victory.

Luckily for the 49ers, Foster's injury was far less severe than it originally appeared. The results of the X-ray came back negative and Foster returned to the sideline but not to the game. He had hoped to be ready to go against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, but further diagnosis on Monday revealed that he suffered a high-ankle sprain and head coach Kyle Shanahan said the rookie could miss a month.

Now, the 49ers must push forward without their most exciting young player. While it is easy to see Foster's injury as a negative, that is not how defensive coordinator Robert Saleh views it. He joined the "Murph & Mac" show on KNBR Tuesday morning and explained his reasoning.

"He'll be in all the meetings," Saleh said. "For him to be able to sit back and absorb all the information after getting a week's worth of game time, for a rookie, believe it or not, I feel like it's almost going to be a blessing in disguise where he can just sit back. He's experienced preseason. He's experienced the game.

"And now to just watch it all from the outside, get his body back in working order where he can just kind of let things come to him rather than in the game just kind of going and going and going where he never gets to sit back and observe everything. That usually doesn't happen until their second year. For him to get this knowledge, I almost feel like it's going to be a blessing in disguise for him and the organization."

You can listen to the entire interview with Saleh below.