Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports



On Thursday, San Francisco 49ers rookie linebacker Reuben Foster will take part in his second practice since suffering a high-ankle sprain against the Carolina Panthers on September 10. He was limited during Wednesday's practice, which was his first, but looked good considering he had missed a month due to the injury.

Prior to Thursday's scheduled 1:50 p.m. practice, 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh met with the media and shared what he saw from Foster the day before.

"He looked pretty good," Saleh said. "He was excited, champing at the bit to get out at practice and he looked good."

Prior to his injury, Foster had been paired up with All-Pro linebacker NaVorro Bowman during training camp, preseason, and for a handful of Week 1 plays. The tandem looked good.

"For those two, when Malcolm [Smith] went down, they had a good month where they were working together," Saleh said. "Defense is so much about communication and getting comfortable with the guy you're working next to and so they got very comfortable with each other and they were working at a very high level so it was very unfortunate that Reuben went down."

It is unknown whether or not Foster will suit up for Sunday's road game against the Washington Redskins. That decision won't be made on Thursday and is likely to be a game-time decision by the 49ers medical and coaching staffs. Saleh said the team will use the entire week to determine Foster's status for Sunday.



The same goes for safety Eric Reid, according to Saleh. Like Foster, Reid is returning to practice this week. He suffering a PCL injury against the Seattle Seahawks on September 17. Reid, like the rookie linebacker, was also limited during Wednesday's practice.

"I hope the doctors officially clear me," Foster said with a smile in the 49ers locker room prior to practice. "I don't know (if I will play). Hopefully, they see a child in me -- like I want a candy. I want some candy. Let me have some candy."


Foster has been doing everything he can to stay sharp during his rehabilitation. It appears to have paid off. On Wednesday, Foster was able to slip right into his old spot on the defense and pick up where he left off. Saleh shared some observations about his young defensive star.

"He's been out there every day," Saleh said. "Walkthroughs and all that stuff so he's still getting all those mental reps. And yesterday, he was sharp. Lined up, got people lined up. It was really cool to see because he hasn't really actually taken a live rep since whenever he got hurt and to see the way he commanded the huddle and the way he got people lined up was very encouraging."

Saleh was asked if Foster might see some action at the Mike linebacker spot should Bowman spend some plays on the sideline to rest as he hesitantly did against the Indianapolis Colts.

"We'd like to keep Foster playing one position," Saleh answered. "Having a rookie bounce back and forth, that would be doing him an injustice."

As for Bowman's reaction to coming off the field on Sunday, Saleh addressed that as well.

"I would expect Bowman to be the most angry human being in the entire world," Saleh declared. "I would expect nothing else and I would expect him to fight tooth and nail to come off the field and I would expect him to fight tooth and nail to get back on the field. And that's why Bowman is a special football player and that's why he's been fantastic his entire career."