Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Albert Breer: Other NFL teams would have told Reuben Foster to redo surgery

May 16, 2017 at 9:53 AM--

Albert Breer of TheMMQB wrote on Tuesday that the situation with San Francisco 49ers rookie linebacker Reuben Foster will be an interesting one to watch over the next few months. The reasons surround the uncertainty of Foster's shoulder as well as off-the-field elements.

Foster underwent surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder following Alabama's 2016 season. It was an injury that prevented the linebacker from participating in the NFL Scouting Combine and scared off enough teams that the talented linebacker fell to the 49ers with the 31st overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft. Other NFL teams felt that the surgery wasn't enough to repair the injury and that another surgery would be necessary – leaving his 2017 season in doubt.

"Some teams looked at his shoulder as enough of an issue that, had they drafted him, they'd have immediately told him to get his surgery redone—feeling that the initial surgery didn't take," wrote Breer.

Of course, the 49ers and their medical staff were comfortable with the way the shoulder was healing. They were comfortable enough to move back into the first round and leap ahead of the New Orleans Saints, who were about to select Foster at the number 32 spot.

"Our doctors do a great job," 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said earlier this month during an interview on KNBR. "They looked into everything with Reuben and met with him. Our doctors felt good about his shoulder. They thought it was recovering well. They didn't have the same report a lot of other teams did."

"I can tell you that anytime you have a player with a shoulder injury, there's some concern and you definitely vet it," 49ers general manager John Lynch said during a KNBR interview this month. "And we've got a great medical staff out here. A lot of doctors at a school about 15 minutes north that I'm real proud to be associated with at Stanford. They never deviated in their analysis of his shoulder and that was that he had a torn rotator cuff. He fixed it. They liked the way that the recovery was happening.

"Every time one of these stories would pop up, I'd go back and say, 'Are you sure?' What I loved is that they never flinched. They never blinked. And I kept getting the same report."

Regarding the off-the-field elements, Breer believes that the West Coast is a good landing spot for Foster because it is far from home.

"San Francisco is a long way from Foster's hometown of Auburn, Ala," Breer wrote. "Going into the draft, the feeling was that the further Foster landed away from home, the better. He had a very rough upbringing, and some teams were concerned about the crowd he grew up with."

Breer went on to compare the situation to wide receiver Dez Bryant, a native Texan. Many felt that Bryant needed to be drafted by a team outside of Texas, which, obviously, did not happen. He was selected by the Dallas Cowboys, who worked hard to put resources in place to keep Bryant out of trouble.

"The Niners are in a better spot with Foster (than the Cowboys were with Bryant)," Breer wrote. "And if his shoulder needs to be redone, well, it's not like John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan don't have a little time to wait on him, given the rebuild ahead."

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