Linebacker Reuben Foster, who faces three felony charges including domestic violence, will not take part in the 49ers’ offseason conditioning program, the club announced Sunday evening.
The 49ers open their offseason program on Monday at the club's training facility in Santa Clara. A joint statement from CEO Jed York, general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan read:
"Reuben Foster will not participate in team activities as he is tending to his legal matters. As previously stated, his future with the team will be determined by the information revealed during the legal process."
The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office on Thursday announced its charges against Foster, stemming from a Feb. 11 incident involving a woman described as his live-in girlfriend:
The DA’s office announced three felony charges:
--Domestic violence with an allegation that he inflicted great bodily injury;
--Forcefully attempting to prevent a victim from reporting a crime;
--Possession of an assault weapon (a Sig Sauer 516).
Foster is also charged with one misdemeanor:
--Possession of large capacity weapon magazine.
If convicted of those crimes, Foster faces more than 11 years in prison, according to the DA’s office.
According to the DA’s office, the alleged victim flagged down a stranger’s car driving on Shannon Road in Los Gatos to call police. She told responding officers that Foster dragged her by her hair, physically threw her out of the house, and punched her in the head eight to 10 times. She was bruised and sustained a ruptured ear drum, according to the DA’s office.
York said recently at the NFL owners meetings he would make the ultimate decision when it comes to whether a player is released due to off-field or legal issues. He spoke of the difficulty of finding out information about a pending legal case. He said the club must find ways to help individuals to avoid situations such as the one in which Foster is alleged to have been involved.
"It’s difficult when you have the league doing investigations. It’s hard for teams to do investigations, but you want to try to find out as much detail and as much information as you can," York said in an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area and The Athletic. "But when you’re dealing with legal issues, it’s just a very, very gray area. So you want to try to get as much information as you can.
"But, I think ultimately, you want to take a step back and say, ‘How do you help 53 guys? How do you make sure that (there are) life skills training? Just the experience we’ve seen, and we’ve certainly seen a lot at the 49ers and you see it across the league, how do you help these guys not make the same mistakes that other people have made?"
Foster has visited the 49ers' workout facility for most of the offseason for his personal workouts. The organization could still allowed to provide him with support and assistance, but he will not take part in meetings or organized workouts at the beginning of the offseason program. The official offseason program runs through a three-day minicamp scheduled for June 12-14.