49ers

Reuben Foster has marijuana misdemeanor charge dismissed

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USATSI

Reuben Foster has marijuana misdemeanor charge dismissed

Reuben Foster saw another win legally Friday as his marijuana charge resulting in a misdemeanor was dropped in Alabama. 

Foster's case was dismissed Friday by the Tuscaloosa district attorney's office after completing a diversion course. The 24-year-old must pay court costs and a $100 bail bond fee, according to multiple reports. 

Even though the misdemeanor was dropped, Foster could still face discipline as part of the NFL's substance abuse policy.

Friday's news comes just two days after a Santa Clara County judge dismissed two domestic-violence charges against Foster and reduced a weapons charge to a misdemeanor. 

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee was first to report Friday's news. 

Why the chance of a Colin Kaepernick-49ers reunion is subatomic

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USATSI

Why the chance of a Colin Kaepernick-49ers reunion is subatomic

Ultimately, Colin Kaepernick has to follow his heart. If he needs football as much as he loves football, he should seize the best opportunity, even if it is the only opportunity. And so far, the only football opportunity he has been offered is of the "none at all" variety."

But given what football has done to him lately and how much his world view has grown while outside it, I wonder why he’d bother anyway.

Kaepernick's name is back in the news, of course, grafted onto the Jimmy Garoppolo knee injury that almost surely ends his season and dramatically mars that of the San Francisco 49ers. It always happens when a quarterback of substance goes down, and sometimes it happens when his lawyer teases TMZ with vague hints of potential hookups with teams like the New England Patriots or Oakland Raiders.

By all accounts, the 49ers are not interested in a second go-round with him, content instead to use C.J. Beathard as the starter and Billy Don OffTheStreet as a new backup. This may simply be a football decision by head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch, though one should never assume that politics isn’t in there shoving its two cents in when it comes to Kaepernick.

Either way, the chance of a Kaepernick reunion in San Francisco is subatomic. And frankly, those of us who want to see if there are legally enforceable limits to the NFL’s hubris should probably view that lack of opportunity as a good thing.

For one, football is nobody’s friend unless you happen to be at the billionaire end of the funnel, as Garoppolo’s knee and hundreds of concussive incidents on Sunday alone can contest. This goes to Kaepernick’s all-encompassing need for the game, which may or may not exist and to which only he can attest.

For two, his collusion case against the league is frankly more important than his spot holding a clipboard and standing next to Shanahan until the moment the team waives him because a quarterback less visible comes along. There would be something dismaying in the notion that challenging the status quo and its naked power could be so easily neutralized, and with such a small reward to weigh against all that assumed risk. Co-optation, thy name is backup quarterback.

Not that this is going to be put to the test, mind you. Even if Lynch and Shanahan weren’t viscerally offended by Kaepernick’s protest milieu (and we have no knowledge that suggests that is either true or false, as they have both deftly avoided the subject), Shanahan gains nothing as head coach having Kaepernick on the roster unless he is absolutely convinced beyond all argument that Kaepernick is the best alternative to run an offense Kaepernick barely knows and would need weeks to learn. In the hyper-practical world in which they live, coaches think of risk-reward too, and they don’t risk anything on behalf of a backup quarterback.

Kaepernick has been playing for bigger stakes, namely to show (or fail in the attempt) that even at its most elemental level the NFL is not a meritocracy at all but just another company where the market can be fixed for an agreed-upon goal by men and women who ostensibly are supposed to be competing.

But if they offered, and he wanted it that much, then so be it. It is, after all, his life, which is the core of what we’ve been talking about all this time. His activation would energize Donald Trump and maybe depress Nike’s market value (which has risen $6 billion since the ad campaign), but those are all calculations Kaepernick would have to make himself.

It’s just that in this case, like all the others to date, he won’t have to.

49ers notes: Evaluating the debut of the new linebackers lineup

49ers notes: Evaluating the debut of the new linebackers lineup

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs took advantage of the 49ers’ eagerness at inside linebacker in the first half with some misdirection plays.

It was a rough opening game for the 49ers’ young linebacker duo of Reuben Foster and Fred Warner, but chalk it up to a learning experience in the Chiefs’ 38-27 victory at Arrowhead Stadium.

Foster was encouraged Sunday with the how he and Warner played together and seemed to improve as the team progressed.

“It went well,” Foster said. “It’s like me and Fred never missed a game together, like we’ve been playing together since high school or middle school. It felt amazing with him next to me, calling the plays out.”

The 49ers expect Warner and Foster to line up side-by-side for years to come. Foster was a first-round pick last year. He returned to action Sunday after serving a two-game suspension. Warner has started every game at middle linebacker since arriving as a third-round pick from BYU.

Veteran Malcolm Smith made his 49ers debut on Sunday. A natural inside linebacker, Smith lined up at outside linebacker in the team’s base defense. Smith played 34 snaps, as Kansas City’s multi-receiver personnel groupings dictated the 49ers deploy their nickel defense for most of the game.

Warner registered a game-high 11 tackles, while Foster was credited with seven tackles. Smith had one tackle and a quarterback hurry.

[RELATED: 49ers Report Card vs Chiefs]

Questionable calls

The 49ers were called for 14 penalties totaling 147 yards, but some of the bigger calls in the game came with plenty of questions about referee Tony Corrente’s crew.

On a third and 16 from the 49ers’ 32-yard line, nickel back K’Waun Williams was called for pass interference in the end zone against Chris Conley on a Patrick Mahomes pass that did not appear catchable. Instead of a long field goal attempt, the Chiefs had a first down at the 1, and scored on the next play.

C.J. Beathard took one snap and found tight end George Kittle in the end zone for what appeared to be a 7-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. If the touchdown had stood, the 49ers would have trailed by a touchdown with five minute remaining.

But fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who lined up as a wideout on the right side, was flagged for a pass interference when linebacker Dee Ford stepped in front of him to cut off his in-breaking route. Kittle made the catch behind where Juszczyk and Ford came together.

“I was shocked, actually,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “I thought we were going to get a call there, so I was real surprised our fullback got a call of pass interference.”

FOX analyst Dean Blandino, the former head of NFL officiating, even criticized the call on the TV broadcast.

"This is not a pick play," Blandino said. "This is a flag that really should not have been called."

Grounds for a comeback

The 49ers fell behind by four touchdowns points before scoring 17 unanswered to get back in the game in the second half. The defense finally made some stops, but the offense got going because it did not give up on the run game.

“I think we just focused on the run,” Kittle said. “We didn’t say, ‘Hey, we have to air it out now because we’re losing by 28 points.’ “

Running back Matt Breida led the 49ers with 90 yards on 10 rushing attempts, while Alfred Morris added 67 yards on 14 rushing attempts.

“Whenever you can run the ball, it opens up the passing game,” Kittle said.

Injury report

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s expected season-ending knee injury was the most serious, but it was not the only injury the 49ers sustained on Sunday in Kansas City.

Safety Adrian Colbert appeared in 28 plays before leaving the game in the second quarter with a hip injury. Rookie D.J. Reed replaced Colbert and played the final 52 snaps of the game.

Cornerback Richard Sherman is scheduled to undergo an MRI examination on his left calf area. He left the game after playing 36 snaps. Ahkello Witherspoon, who has been battling an ankle injury, replaced him.

Cornerback Jimmy Ward left the game due to cramps. In the five snaps he missed, rookie Tarvarius Moore filled in.

Foster took a shot to the midsection and missed one play.

Running back Matt Breida appeared to hyperextend his knee, but he came back into the game and played well.

Defensive lineman Solomon Thomas also was shaken up after colliding with teammate DeForest Buckner while hitting Mahomes. He left the game briefly.

Right guard Mike Person aggravated a foot injury and left the game for seven plays, replaced by Erik Magnuson.

This ‘n’ that

Antone Exum started at strong safety in place of Jaquiski Tartt, who was out with a shoulder injury. Exum recorded nine tackles, his first career sack and a forced fumble. . .

Defensive lineman Arik Armstead was credited with a sack when Mahomes ran out of bounds in the second quarter. It was Armstead’s first sack of the season and the seventh of his career. . .

Kicker Robbie Gould extended his own club-record streak with field goals of 39 and 35 yards. He has made 31 consecutive field-goal attempts. Gould has made at least one field goal in 23 consecutive games, dating back to Dec. 11, 2016. However, Gould missed an extra point in the third quarter.