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Kyle Shanahan explains how 49ers will approach Reuben Foster’s absence to start the season

Jul 25, 2018 at 4:37 PM--

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Reuben Foster will not play in the San Francisco 49ers' first two regular-season games. He will be serving a suspension following a drama-filled offseason. Head coach Kyle Shanahan says, right now, Foster's status for those games will not impact how they prepare the second-year linebacker for the season.

"I'm looking at it almost like Reuben is going to be hurt the first couple of games," Shanahan said on Wednesday. "It's different because he's being suspended, so we know that in advance but we expect to play with him the rest of the year. Reuben needs to get his work in, especially since he missed some OTAs and things like that."

The 49ers will re-evaluate their linebacker situation and who fills in for Foster during those games as the team gets closer to its season opener against the Minnesota Vikings.

As for the linebacker's offseason troubles, the worst of which was a charge of domestic violence, Shanahan was proud of how his young player handled the situation. A judge dropped the domestic violence charge after the alleged victim changed her story and said she had lied about the whole ordeal.

"What they originally charged him with was as bad a thing as you can imagine," Shanahan said. "It's a very embarrassing thing because of how bad it was and to have all that scrutiny on you and have to go through that, I think would be a challenge for any human being. That would mess a lot of people up.

"I've been very impressed with Reuben, how he handled it, the process he went through while it was going on, and, after it got dropped, how he has handled it since. I know he learned a lot through it."

Foster's locker sits right next to cornerback Richard Sherman's. The two have gotten to know each other since Foster returned to the team on May 24.

"I think he's going to have a great year," Sherman said on Wednesday. "Obviously, there's been some mistakes and some ups and downs of this offseason and last year but, just like everybody else, he's a human being. Human beings make mistakes. But I think he's growing from those mistakes, and he's moving forward, and he's trying to be a better man.

"Sometimes you don't know what you don't know. As you know better, you do better, and I think that's going to be seen with him. I don't think you're going to hear much out of him in terms of the off-the-field issues in the future. I think everything you hear about him will be on the field and it will be positive."


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