Reuben Foster

NFL Suspends 49ers LB Reuben Foster

The NFL has suspended 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster for the first two games of the regular season. Foster will miss contests against the Vikings and Lions before returning to the active roster on Sept. 17. 

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Foster’s suspension comes as a result of violating the NFL’s conduct and substance-abuse policies. He’ll also be fined for violations stemming from weapons and drug charges. Although he will not serve jail time for any of his off-the-field missteps, the league reserves the right to discipline players for actions that are barred by the NFL.

Our organization understands and supports the League’s decision,” GM John Lynch said in a statement. “Although we are disappointed that Reuben will not be with our team for the first two games of the season, we will continue to work with him on making better decisions and eliminating unnecessary distractions. We are encouraged to see Reuben take responsibility for his mistakes, and hopeful that he has learned from them as well.”

Just weeks ago, Foster was facing jail time for accusations of domestic abuse against his former girlfriend. Had he been convicted, Lynch said he would have been booted from the team.

Foster, meanwhile, says that he accepts the league’s decision and took accountability for his actions.

I accept the League’s decision and am sorry that my mistakes have hurt my team,” Foster said in a statement released by the Niners. “I have a responsibility to the 49ers, our fans and our community, and I am committed to learning from this situation and making better choices in the future. The support I have received over the last five months has been humbling, and I do not take it for granted.”

On the field, Foster has been a solid contributor for the Niners. As a rookie in 2017, he recorded 72 total tackles in ten games (all starts). In November, he earned NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month honors.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On 49ers’ Reuben Foster

49ers linebacker Reuben Foster pled no contest to his last remaining charge, a misdemeanor assault rifle possession count (Twitter link via Robert Salonga of the Mercury News). Foster will serve 232 hours of community service and two years probation, during which he’ll be prohibited from possessing guns or ammunition. 

Legally speaking, this ties up the final loose end from Foster’s Feb. 11 domestic violence arrest. In May, the court dismissed the more serious felony charges against Foster after his ex-girlfriend recanted her allegations.

In terms of his standing with the league, however, much is left to be determined. Foster was faced with four charges in all and the league is still mulling a multi-game suspension for him, sources tell Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

Foster, who has been running with the first-team since returning to practice, is in line to start for the Niners in 2018. However, it seems likely that his season will be interrupted by a ban from the league office.

On the field, Foster has been a solid contributor for the Niners. As a rookie in 2017, he recorded 72 total tackles in ten games (all starts). In November, he earned NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month honors.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Seahawks, Carroll, Foster, Saints

Appearing on Dave Dameshek’s podcast, Cliff Avril said that following the Seahawks‘ loss to the Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX, Pete Carroll started losing the trust of his players. The former Seattle defensive end said “a lot of guys got turned off” when the head coach opted for a potential game-winning pass instead of handing the ball to Marshawn Lynch.

Of course, we know what happened next. With the ball at the one-yard line, quarterback Russell Wilson ended up throwing a game-deciding interception to New England cornerback Malcolm Butler.

“If we win that Super Bowl I think we would have won another one,” Avril said (via Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com). “I do think the team would have bought in more to what Coach Carroll was saying, instead of going the opposite way.

“Guys started kind of questioning him more instead of following his lead if we had won the Super Bowl.”

The Seahawks ended up losing in the divisional round during the 2015 and 2016 playoffs, and they failed to make the postseason in 2017. The team ultimately let go of a number of veterans this offseason.

Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the NFC…

  • Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner has left Athletes First and is without an agent, reports Liz Mullen SportsBusiness Daily (via Twitter). Wagner signed a four-year, $43MM extension (about $22MM guaranteed) with the Seahawks back in 2016, and he still has two years remaining on that deal.
  • According to Tuscaloosa County District Attorney Hays Webb, 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster had “several months of clean drug screen results” during his pre-trial diversion program (via the San Francisco Chronicle’s Eric Branch on Twitter). Foster ultimately completed the program. In this past week, Foster has seen both of his offseason arrests lead to dismissed cases. Yesterday, the former first-rounder had a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge dismissed, and we learned earlier this week that he wouldn’t be charged in a domestic violence case.
  • The Saints are still hoping that special teams coach Mike Westhoff will return to the organization after he successfully completes recovery from offseason surgery, according to Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com. The 70-year-old underwent surgery for “an issue from his hip all the way down his leg,” and he’s yet to return to New Orleans. Sean Payton had previously expressed some optimism in Westhoff’s return, but he also said he didn’t expect the coach to come back until training camp. After retiring in 2012, Payton convinced Westhoff to return to the NFL towards the end of last season.

Reuben Foster’s Marijuana Case Dismissed

Reuben Foster has now seen both of his offseason arrests lead to dismissed cases in a span of three days. The 49ers linebacker is no longer facing a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge after that case was dismissed, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee tweets.

On Wednesday, it was determined Foster would not face a felony domestic violence charge. On Friday, the Tuscaloosa, Ala., district attorney’s office announced the 24-year-old defender’s second-degree marijuana possession charge was being dropped because Foster completed a diversion case, per Barrows.

Foster was arrested for drug possession shortly after his rookie season concluded. He’s now in the clear for this lesser charge as well. However, while Foster has navigated some significant hurdles this offseason, he could still face discipline from the NFL. The Alabama product could be subject to suspension for the January arrest under the league’s substance-abuse policy.

Weeks ago, the 49ers barred Foster from offseason workouts, and the 2017 first-round pick’s future with the team looked bleak. But the tide turned swiftly for the talented linebacker, who now has a clear path back to the 49ers. They will surely plug him back into their first-string group after he’s missed extensive offseason time.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Judge Dismisses Domestic Violence Charge Against Reuben Foster

A judge has dismissed a domestic violence charge against 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee (Twitter links). Judge Nona Klippen has also dismissed another charge relating to Foster purportedly smashing his ex-girlfriend’s cell phone as she was attempting to contact police, and reduced the weapons charge against Foster from a felony to a misdemeanor.

Foster’s ex-girlfriend, Elissa Ennis, testified last week that she fabricated allegations against Foster. After originally claiming Foster had beaten her and thrown her down stairs, Ennis admitted that her visible injuries had actually been suffered during a fight with another woman. Ennis, angry over a reported breakup between she and Foster, wanted to take Foster “down” by pinning domestic violence charges on him.

Although Ennis recanted her allegations, the Santa Clara County district attorney’s office did not drop charges against Foster. Nevertheless, Judge Klippen made “multiple references” to insufficient evidence in her ruling, tweets Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com, an indication that she was satisfied with Ennis’ re-telling of events.

The 49ers had been adamant that they would quickly release Foster if any domestic violence accusations were proven true, but that doesn’t appear to be an issue any longer. Foster will need to appear in court for his now-misdemeanor weapons charge, and is also facing a marijuana charge in Alabama. While neither offense may result in much legal action, Foster could still be subject to an NFL-imposed suspension.

Now that the domestic violence charges against Foster have been dropped, he will be allowed to rejoin the 49ers as early as Thursday, the club announced today.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On 49ers’ Reuben Foster

The Reuben Foster case took a major turn on Thursday when his accuser admitted she lied about the allegations of domestic violence. Elissa Ennis’ testimony will make a Foster domestic violence conviction unlikely, and as of now, it would appear the former Alabama linebacker has a clearer path back to the 49ers.

However, Foster will not be with the team when it begins OTAs. The 49ers barred the second-year linebacker from these workouts while the case proceeds and will still begin them without him, per NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo (on Twitter). San Francisco’s OTAs begin on Tuesday, and Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reports (via Twitter) the ruling in this case will come a day later.

Upon being questioned by Foster’s defense attorney, Ennis confessed to accusing a previous boyfriend of domestic violence when he attempted to break up with her in 2011, per Barrows (on Twitter). Ennis also initially told police she’d sustained injuries in a physical altercation with another woman outside a bar, but when on the witness stand, she said this fight occurred after a road-rage incident.

Foster also faces a felony charge of possessing an assault weapon. Foster legally purchased this weapon, Sig Sauer 516, per Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area, in Alabama. But the weapon is illegal in California. Prosecution argued Foster had not safely stored this weapon, with Ennis directing law enforcement to a bathroom floor where it was located. This charge could end up being dropped to a misdemeanor, per Maiocco.

Additionally, Foster is still facing a second-degree marijuana possession charge in Alabama after being arrested in January. Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets that Foster is due in court June 20 for this less misdemeanor charge.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Reuben Foster’s Accuser Says She Lied

Reuben Foster’s accuser recanted her claims in court on Thursday, as Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group tweets. The ex-girlfriend of the 49ers linebacker says he did not hit her once and adds that she actually struck him. 

I was threatening Reuben. … that I was going to [expletive] up his career,” Foster’s ex-girlfriend Elissa Ennis said.

When asked about why she dialed 911 three times, she responded, “I wanted to be extra. I wanted him to go down. I was pissed.” She went on to explain that she falsified claims about Foster as a part of “a money scheme.”

It was all a money scheme. I didn’t want to get this far in the news. It was about money,” said Ennis on the stand.

After Foster’s arrest in February, Ennis says she bolted home for Louisiana and took Foster’s money and jewelry with her. Ennis’ injuries from around that same time were submitted as a part of the prosecution’s case against Foster, but she now says those were caused by a fight with another woman or two women in a road rage incident in San Francisco (Twitter link via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area). A portion of the road rage fight was posted on Instagram, but has since been flagged and deleted.

Recently, 49ers GM John Lynch said that Foster would be released if it was found that he struck Ennis. However, if Foster is cleared of the charges without conclusive evidence of abuse, he’ll remain in SF. Right now, the odds of a conviction are looking slim.

“We do feel like patience is the right approach right now, that we are going to learn things through this legal process,” Lynch said. “But I do want to be very clear, abundantly clear, that if these charges are proven true, that if Reuben did indeed hit this young lady, he won’t be part of our organization going forward.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Reuben Foster’s Ex-Girlfriend To Testify Thursday

Reuben Foster‘s ex-girlfriend is prepared to recant her allegations against the 49ers linebacker in court on Thursday, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.

Elissa Ennis had previously maintained that Foster hit her 10 times and dragged her down stairs, but changed her story in late April, indicating that her injuries were the result of a fight with another woman. Ennis suffered a swollen lip and ruptured eardrum as a result of said fight, and Foster was subsequently charged with three felonies. Foster pleaded not guilty to all charges, and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

The Santa Clara Count District Attorney’s office had previously vowed to forge ahead with its original charges, but that course of action would presumably become much more difficult if its victim publicly retracts her claims against Foster. The 49ers, for their part, have been adamant that if the allegations are proven true, Foster will be quickly released.

Per Barrows, Foster could still be in hot water in given that he was in possession of an assault rifle, and prosecutors could choose to go forward with gun charges even if the domestic violence charges are dismissed. However, a judge may also choose to reduce those gun charges from a felony to a misdemeanor.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers’ Reuben Foster Pleads Not Guilty

49ers linebacker Reuben Foster has pleaded not guilty to three felony charges stemming from his alleged domestic incident, as Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com tweets. Foster’s trial is now set to begin on May 17. 

Both Foster’s freedom and football future hang in the balance in the upcoming trial. If convicted, the Alabama product could serve up to eleven years in prison. Meanwhile, the Niners say they’ll cut Foster if he is found guilty of striking a woman.

“We do feel like patience is the right approach right now, that we are going to learn things through this legal process,” GM John Lynch said recently“But I do want to be very clear, abundantly clear, that if these charges are proven true, that if Reuben did indeed hit this young lady, he won’t be part of our organization going forward.”

Two weeks ago, Foster’s accuser recanted her claim, which could make it more difficult for the prosecution to land a conviction in his case. Still, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office has vowed to forge ahead. For the time being, Foster has been barred from participating in team activities.

On the field, Foster has been a solid contributor for the Niners. As a rookie last year, he recorded 72 total tackles in ten games (all starts). In November, he earned NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month honors.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On 49ers LB Reuben Foster

Earlier this month, we heard that 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster is facing multiple felony charges and one misdemeanor in relation to a February domestic violence incident. However, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reports that the victim has recanted her claim.

Elissa Ennis, Foster’s former girlfriend, released a statement through her attorney stating that the linebacker did not cause her injuries earlier this year. Rather, the injuries were a result of a fight with another woman. Foster intended to end their relationship after learning after the fight, and Ennis followed through in her threat to “trash his career.”

“(Foster) did not strike her, injure her or threaten her,” attorney Stephanie Rickard told Maiocco.

This doesn’t necessarily mean Foster’s off the hook. As Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group tweets, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office has already said that they’d prosecute the NFL player even if the victim didn’t cooperate. As Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com notes, Foster is also facing a felony charge for possessing an assault weapon, which would seemingly be unrelated to the assault case. The NFL is conducting its own investigation, and they could ultimately choose to punish Foster.

The 49ers have already barred Foster from participating in their offseason program, and general manager John Lynch said he’d release the player if the allegations proved to be true.

“We do feel like patience is the right approach right now, that we are going to learn things through this legal process,” Lynch said (via Maiocco). “But I do want to be very clear, abundantly clear, that if these charges are proven true, that if Reuben did indeed hit this young lady, he won’t be part of our organization going forward.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.