Shoulder? What shoulder?
That is the scene Peter King of the MMQB described inside the John McVay Draft Room at 49ers headquarters on Thursday night when general manager John Lynch yelled across the room toward Jeff Ferguson, the team’s vice president of medical services/head athletic trainer.
The 49ers spent most of the first round trying to maneuver back into position to trade up to select Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster. They accomplished their goal with the No. 31 overall pick, as they finalized a deal with the Seattle Seahawks.
The 49ers had Foster rated as their No. 3 prospect in the draft, behind Myles Garrett and Solomon Thomas. Foster plummeted down the draft due mostly to concerns about his surgically repaired right shoulder. But Ferguson confidently confirmed the team's belief that Foster's recovery is going as planned when he suggested the shoulder is of no concern.
Foster sustained a torn rotator cuff in Alabama’s national semifinal game against Washington, he said. He played through the injury in the championship game against Clemson before undergoing surgery in February. Foster said last week he is 90 percent and expects to be cleared for training camp.
But Adam Schefter of ESPN reported the 49ers’ lack of concern is not a sentiment shared around the NFL.
“The surgery didn’t take,” a person described as “a well-placed source with knowledge of the injury” told Schefter.
When asked about reports he could require additional surgery, Foster said, “That’s not accurate at all. I’m fine. I’m on schedule.”
Another source said Foster’s shoulder could be damaged on any hit and predicted he would not make it through his rookie season without requiring another surgery, according to Schefter’s report.