Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports



On Friday morning, San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch joined the "Murph and Mac" show on KNBR and discussed the team's most recent draft class – his only one as an NFL executive.

The biggest name among the 49ers' 2017 draft class is injured linebacker Reuben Foster, who returned to practice this week but has been limited. While there is a chance that the exciting rookie will play in Sunday's road game against the Washington Redskins, the 49ers will be careful with his return.

"He's been practicing this week and that really is going to come down to the wire," Lynch said. "These high-ankle sprains, they're tricky. I've had one myself back in the day and just know that they're just really tricky. And one thing we do know, as much as we are intent on going into Washington and coming out with a win, we have to do the right thing for Reuben Foster, for this organization.

"So, we want him to be feeling completely healthy and that sometimes is an oxymoron in the NFL – 'completely healthy.' It doesn't happen much but with this specific injury, we have to be careful. We have to protect our investment on what we think is going to be a special player. And so, we're going to send Reuben out there today and this thing will go right down to the wire. We're encouraged that it's close. We'll just see about this weekend."

Foster is returning from a high-ankle sprain the he suffered on September 10 against the Carolina Panthers. On Thursday, he expressed his strong desire to return to the football field and compared it to that of a child wanting some candy.

"I hope the doctors officially clear me," Foster told reporters with a smile on his face. "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."

RELATED Kyle Shanahan on Reuben Foster: 'He's had two good days of practice'

During the interview with KNBR, Lynch also shared his opinion on the rest of the draft class.

"We love our draft class," Lynch said. "We think Solomon Thomas, last week, was not his best game but we're thrilled with the player that he is already and the player that he is going to be. Reuben Foster, I just spoke about him. He's a special football player.

"Ahkello [Witherspoon], we think is going to be a really good football player. He's been making great strides. We wanted to go about it the right way and not put him out there until he was ready. We deemed that he was ready and it was unfortunate. He played about six plays and then got hurt.

"Kittle, really starting to make plays. I think that was a big game for him because he started making game-changing plays. Trent Taylor's been good. D.J. Jones has been a big part (of this team). Kind of quietly, but that's how nose guards roll. But he's a good player. There's a lot of good players that have contributed and we're going to look -- [undrafted free agent Victor] Bolden is a guy that we're high on. The list goes on and on. It's a draft class that we're very proud of and if we can add more players like that, we'll be alright."

One member of the team's draft class who is not playing is running back Joe Williams. He was placed on injured reserve prior to the start of the regular season.

"Joe's got special qualities too and those still remain," Lynch said. "Sometimes, a year like this, it is what you make it and it's unfortunate Joe hurt his ankle but what are you going to make of it? I think the speed, the quickness, finding the hole is all there. I think the one thing he has to learn to do is run a little tougher and he's putting on great strength and he's using the time well. It's a long time to be away from football but we think he's going to be a big part of us going forward."

You can listen to the entire interview with Lynch below.