Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports



San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster has missed four games since suffering a high-ankle sprain in a Week 1 contest against the Carolina Panthers. Since then, fans have been eager to see the exciting rookie return to the football field. Foster took a big step in the right direction on Wednesday when he returned to practice with his teammates.

Also returning to practice was safety Eric Reid, who suffered a PCL injury during a Week 2 contest against the Seattle Seahawks.

Prior to this week, Foster had been running and warming up with his 49ers teammates before exiting to a side field for rehabilitation once practice began. 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke to the media on Wednesday and discussed the process of deciding whether or not Foster will play on Sunday against the Washington Redskins.


"As far as Reuben – and even Eric – we're not going in set with, 'Hey, they're going to do this or they're going to do that,'" Shanahan said. "We're really not sure. They've looked good at doing the rehab stuff but you never really know about these guys until they get out in team drills and not just individual but moving with 22 guys out there. So, really trying not to decide until I can see with my own eyes today and when we see how they can move around, then we'll make our decisions.

"Of course, when guys miss the time that they have, which I think they're both around a month, it's very tough from a football conditioning standpoint just to throw them into the fire. So even if they do look great, I've got to be smart with that but I'm also going to watch how they move."

Shanahan was asked if Reid would be placed into the starting strong safety spot or has Jaquiski Tartt's play created a competition at the position?

"I think everybody's a competition," Shanahan said. "You watch how they play on tape and I thought Eric Reid was playing at a very high level before he got hurt and that's why we look at everything in practice too. Eric's got to be fully healthy and we feel like he gives us the best chance to win and whatever that group of guys is we have out there, that's what we'll go with. I do think the good thing about all those guys is I do think they're all pretty versatile."

Shanahan said the decision on who will start at strong safety won't come until after the team concludes practices for the week.

Meanwhile, Washington is preparing for the possibility of facing Foster. Head coach Jay Gruden jumped on a conference call with Bay Area media on Wednesday and discussed the 49ers linebacker.

"I think we'll prepare for Reuben," Gruden said. "Reuben was, quite frankly, probably my second-favorite defensive player in the draft behind Jonathan Allen, who we got in the first round. I think he's an excellent player and he can run, he can hit, he can cover, everything you want a linebacker to do."