Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports



Due to injuries, San Francisco 49ers rookie linebacker Reuben Foster has appeared in just two games this season. His first injury came during the first half of a Week 1 contest against the Carolina Panthers. Foster left the game with a high-ankle sprain and missed the team's next five games.

Foster returned to the football field for a Week 7 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys, left the game with a rib injury, and missed the team's next game. He was inactive against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. Foster practiced in a blue no-contact jersey on Wednesday and has two more practices scheduled for this week. The 49ers plan to practice on Thursday at 2:05 p.m. and Friday at 11:45 a.m.

Foster entered April's draft with questions surrounding his health. An injury to his shoulder, which required surgery, led to a drop in his draft stock and allowed the 49ers to select the exciting player with the 31st-overall pick. While he recovered from shoulder surgery following the 2016 college football season, Foster went on to miss the 49ers' offseason program but finally got onto the practice field at the start of training camp. He quickly worked his way into the starting lineup.

49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh doesn't believe Foster is injury prone. He just feels he has been unlucky when it comes to injuries.

"He's been very unlucky with the injuries that he's had," Saleh told reporters on Thursday. "He's definitely not injury-prone. That didn't even cross my mind. It's just been very unlucky and very unfortunate though, some of the things that have happened to him. Once he gets his body back, the improvement is just going to skyrocket. It's just a matter of getting him going."

Saleh believes that going through an entire offseason while entirely healthy will significantly benefit Foster in his second year.

"All the different things that happen, it's just been unlucky," Saleh continued. "It's been unfortunate, especially for a rookie. I do anticipate when he does get a full offseason, and your body's in tune with itself, and it's clicking, I do think he'll be much more fortunate next year, for sure."

The 49ers hope to have Foster on the football field at Levi's Stadium this Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.