Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports



Fans want to see linebacker Reuben Foster play on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan wants to see Foster play on Sunday. More than anyone else, Reuben Foster wants to see himself play on Sunday. The exciting rookie looks on track to do just that and everyone is hopeful he can provide enough of a boost to the 49ers to help them earn their first win of the season.

On Wednesday, Shanahan said he was "optimistic" that Foster would play against the visiting Cowboys.

"I do expect him to (play)," Shanahan told reporters. "I guess I should use the words, 'I'm optimistic.' Maybe not 'expect.' I'm being more optimistic. I was hoping last week. Definitely wasn't as optimistic last week and more optimistic this week but you never know."

"I want to get out there as bad as you all want me to get out there, even if it's just to have a story," Foster told reporters on Wednesday. "I've just got to listen to the doctor and just abide by their rules and the quicker I listen to them and follow their rules, the quicker I'll be out there. But, we'll see."

49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh met with the media on Thursday and said Foster is moving around well this week. Foster was limited during Wednesday's practice as he recovers from the high-ankle sprain suffered against the Carolina Panthers on September 10. The 49ers' next scheduled practice is at 1:50 p.m. on Thursday.

Saleh was asked how Foster looks this week compared to last week when the coaching and medical staffs decided he was not healthy enough to play against the Washington Redskins.

"He's moving around good," Saleh answered. "With a high-ankle sprain, you're always going to have little things here and there that pop up. He's one tough son of a gun so excited to see if he can get through the week so we can get him back in action."

Saleh went on to say that Foster's transition to the Mike linebacker spot, which was previously played by NaVorro Bowman, requires more communication.

"There's 10 other guys relying on him to make sure that he's getting the call out of his mouth in the huddle, getting close calls," Saleh said. "He doesn't have to align everybody but they need to hear his voice so that's the only thing. He's no longer a listener. He's a communicator."

Saleh explained that the techniques transfer between positions so, while communication is the biggest adjustment, Foster should be fine with everything else required for the transition.

The 49ers and Cowboys kick off on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. from Levi's Stadium.