49ers

Reuben Foster ready for leadership role with 49ers

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AP

Reuben Foster ready for leadership role with 49ers

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers’ pass coverage from their linebackers has been a disaster this season.

But help is on the way, as rookie Reuben Foster is expected to return to action Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys after sustaining a high right ankle sprain just 11 plays into the season opener against the Carolina Panthers on Sept. 10.

“He’s been battling to get back,” 49ers Kyle Shanahan said on “49ers Game Plan,” which airs Saturday at 9 p.m. on NBC Bay Area.

“He’s been hitting the rehab hard. We’ve had him out here for two weeks of practice, and I think he had his best week of practice. This week was much better than last week. I’m excited to get him out there.”

Last week, the 49ers cut veteran NaVorro Bowman, leaving Ray-Ray Armstrong and Brock Coyle as the starting inside linebackers. They were overmatched in the 49ers' 26-24 loss at Washington.

Quarterback Kirk Cousins looked no further than his running backs in the passing game, as Chris Thompson caught four passes for 105 yards and Samaje Perine had three receptions for 24 yards and a touchdown.

The 49ers expect Foster to provide an immediate upgrade with no expectations of perfection.

“It’s going to be his first time playing in a while,” Shanahan said. “I know there are going to be some bumps in the road. But I think he’ll have a big impact on our defense and our team overall.”

Foster will take over at Bowman’s middle linebacker position and be responsible for communicating the play calls and adjustments to the rest of the defense. Shanahan said Foster is ready to handle the important role.

“That’s the one thing that’s been the most impressive about him,” Shanahan said. “Everyone can see stuff on tape that’s impressive. But we didn’t know how much command he’d have until he got here. And from the first day of OTAs through training camp -- even walk-throughs when he was hurt -- when he gets in there, he speaks that language. He takes control and people listen to him.”

Attorney: DA's office has video showing Foster's ex-girlfriend in fight

Attorney: DA's office has video showing Foster's ex-girlfriend in fight

The video that is described as proof that 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster did not injure his former girlfriend is now in the hands of the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office.

Attorney Stephanie Rickard, who represents Foster’s former girlfriend, said prosecutor Kevin Smith is now in possession of the video, which is described as showing the alleged victim sustaining injuries in a fight with another woman.

“I will let him make the call as to if he wants to release it,” Rickard told NBC Sports Bay Area in an email.

Foster’s former girlfriend, Elissa Ennis, released a statement Wednesday through her attorney in which she recanted statements she gave to officers on Feb. 12 after an alleged dispute with Foster in Los Gatos. According to the DA’s office’s report, the woman was bruised and sustained a ruptured ear drum. The woman told investigators that Foster hit her eight to 10 times.

Foster was charged with two felonies: domestic violence and attempting to prevent a victim from reporting a crime. Foster also faces a felony charge of possession of an assault weapon. He could face up to 11 years in prison if convicted of the crimes.

But Ennis disclosed in the statement that the charges against Foster were "based on lies," and her injuries were the result of a fight with another woman. Foster tried to end his relationship with Ennis after he learned of the fight, Rickard said.

“She was extremely upset and told him if he broke up with her she would ‘trash his career,’ ” said Rickard, who revealed the existence of a video showing Ennis’ fight with the other woman.

According to the statement released through the woman's attorney, she went to the DA's office to recant her original version of the incident, but formal criminal charges were still filed against Foster.

Neither the DA’s office or the 49ers have commented on the latest development in the Foster case.

Foster is next scheduled to appear in court on Monday at 9 a.m.

If both available, should 49ers draft Smith or Edmunds? To Greg Cosell, it's a no-brainer

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AP

If both available, should 49ers draft Smith or Edmunds? To Greg Cosell, it's a no-brainer

The 49ers own the No. 9 overall pick in tonight's NFL Draft.

With Reuben Foster's future up in the air, it's possible that John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan take a linebacker with that selection.

[MAIOCCO: Disclosure in Reuben Foster case should not impact 49ers' draft strategy]

If both Roquan Smith and Tremaine Edmunds are available when the 49ers are on the clock, who should they take?

"I would draft Roquan Smith without even giving it a second thought because I did not love Tramaine Edmunds on tape," Greg Cosell said on KNBR 680. "Roquan Smith is a great prospect. In some ways, he's very similar to Foster, and who knows what's gonna happen there but it's not likely to be good.

"But Roquan Smith, to me, there's not a lot of mystery to his game. He's a great athlete, he's got the speed and range you look for -- he plays sideline to sideline. He sees things quickly and clearly, so he's got the kind of key and diagnosis that we love to see in linebackers. I love him as a prospect."

So what's wrong with Edmunds?

"You're drafting on what you think he could become," Cosell explained. "He's obviously a great athlete, but he's not anywhere near a really good football player at this point in time. So you're hoping you can take that athleticism and you can cultivate it and develop it. But he's got a ways to go. 

"He doesn't see the game real well. He's a splash player, who has great size and great athleticism. But a long way to go to be a really good football player."

Well 49ers fans -- you don't have to wait much longer as the draft starts at 5pm PT...