Woman in Reuben Foster case recants domestic violence claim

Woman in Reuben Foster case recants domestic violence claim

The former girlfriend of 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster on Wednesday said she can prove Foster did not cause her injuries from an alleged February incident in Los Gatos.

Elissa Ennis, the former girlfriend, released a statement through her attorney, Stephanie Rickard, in which she said her injuries came from a fight that did not involve Foster.

“(Foster) did not strike her, injure her or threaten her,” Rickard said in the statement provided first to NBC Sports Bay Area.

Ennis’ injuries were the result of a physical fight with another woman, and that Foster tried to end his relationship with Ennis after he learned of the fight, Rickard said.

There is a video of that fight with another woman, according to Rickard.

“She was extremely upset and told him if he broke up with her she would ‘trash his career,’ ” Rickard said.

Rickard said after Ennis realized what she had done, she went back to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office and tried to recant her previous statement.

When reached Monday by NBC Sports Bay Area, the DA's office declined to comment on the alleged victim's statement.

On April 12, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office filed formal criminal charges against Foster stemming from a Feb. 11 incident involving his live-in girlfriend in Los Gatos. He faces two charges of domestic violence and one felony charge of possession of an assault weapon.

The DA’s office charged him with domestic violence with an allegation that he inflicted great bodily harm. The DA’s office said Foster bruised the alleged victim and ruptured her eardrum. She told investigators at the scene that Foster hit her eight to 10 times in the head.

He is also charged with a felony of attempting to prevent a victim from reporting a crime.

The criminal charges against Foster are based on lies, Ennis now says, according to Rickard.

According to Rickard, “Ennis apologizes to everyone that may have been harmed in this case, especially Mr. Foster."

The 49ers declined to comment Monday because it is an ongoing legal matter, a team spokesman said. 

On Monday, 49ers general manager John Lynch said the club would release Foster if the allegation that he struck the alleged victim proved to be true. Foster remains a member of the team but is not participating in the 49ers’ offseason program.

“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.”

Foster’s next court appearance is scheduled for Monday, 9 a.m.

Garoppolo can relate to Kansas City's watch-and-wait approach with Mahomes


Garoppolo can relate to Kansas City's watch-and-wait approach with Mahomes

SANTA CLARA – The man who mostly remained on the sideline for his first 3 ½ NFL seasons understands how Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes benefited as a rookie from being a backup to a respected, hard-working veteran.

Jimmy Garoppolo started two games for the New England Patriots while filling the role as Tom Brady’s backup since 2014. The knowledge he gained from watching and observing appeared to serve him well when he got his chance last season with the 49ers.

Mahomes is off to a scorching start for the 2-0 Chiefs, as he is getting his opportunity to lead his team after Kansas City cleared the way for him to take over with an offseason trade of Alex Smith to Washington.

“I think it’s tremendous for a quarterback to sit his first year,” Garoppolo said. “You get to sit there and see a guy, if you’re lucky, like I got to watch Tom, Patrick got to watch Alex, two successful quarterbacks and how they do it.

“You kind of try to put yourself in that situation, how to learn from it, what you would do if you were in the spot they were in. There’s a ton of things that you could benefit from, and I think if you use it properly, it’s good for you.”

The 49ers will be the opponent on Sunday when Mahomes makes his first career start in front of his home fans at Arrowhead Stadium. In road games at the Los Angeles Chargers and Pittsburgh to open the season, Mahomes looked like anything but a newcomer.

Mahomes completed 38 of 55 pass attempts (69.1 percent) for 582 yards with 10 touchdowns and no interceptions in the first two games. His passer rating of 143.3 ranks second in the NFL, behind only Tampa Bay‘s Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Garoppolo said the luxury of being on the inside of a successful organization and watching what it is required to play quarterback at the highest level was a reality that hit him during his first NFL season.

“It kind of hits you at one point or another throughout your rookie year,” Garoppolo said. “It’s a really good learning experience. Some guys it hits early, some guys it might not hit until your second or third year. When you realize you have to be a pro and hold yourself accountable more than having a coach do it for you. I think once you get to that point, it gives you a chance to be successful.”

San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan said he has seen it both ways, though. Some young quarterbacks can gain more from getting onto the field immediately. But the sit-and-wait approach has appeared to work with Garoppolo and Mahomes.

“Some guys need to get in there and play whether they succeed or they don’t succeed,” Shanahan said. “They learn from every situation. Some guys need some early success to give them the confidence to lead them to continue to get better.

"So I think you’ve always got to look into the person and think what’s best for them. But, you’ve also got to look at the type of team you have, what your other choice is at quarterback and how good people are around him to where if you do put a guy in, what are his chances of succeeding?”

49ers-Chiefs injury report: Reuben Foster, Malcolm Smith return

49ers-Chiefs injury report: Reuben Foster, Malcolm Smith return

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers, in essence, added two linebackers to the team Wednesday.

Reuben Foster returned to the practice field after serving a two-game suspension, and veteran Malcolm Smith was cleared to undergo a full practice for the first time since he sustained a hamstring injury in the 49ers’ Aug. 9 preseason opener.

Rookie middle linebacker Fred Warner played well in the first two weeks without Foster or Smith alongside him. It appears to be unlikely that Warner will lose his starting role.

And Foster almost assuredly will step back into the 49ers' lineup at weakside linebacker after serving his punishment for violations of the NFL’s policies on substances of abuse and personal conduct. The team released veteran guard Matt Tobin to make room on the 53-man roster for Foster.

Smith was the 49ers’ biggest defensive acquisition on the first day of free agency in 2017. But he missed all of last season with a torn pectoral sustained early in training camp. The 49ers still view him as a valuable asset because of his fit for the defensive system.

So, is it possible Warner, Foster and Smith all could see action together?

“We don’t have the plan, yet,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Wednesday. “We’ve got to see how they are, how they play. The plan is to do whatever we think gives us the best chance to win. Hopefully, we’ll be able to make a better guess at that decision these three days of practice.”

Mark Nzeocha took over as the 49ers’ starting strongside linebacker in the team’s base defense after a trade sent Eli Harold to the Detroit Lions.

“If I knew what way we were going to go this week, I wouldn’t tell you guys, but I do mean I don’t know, yet,” Shanahan said. “Rueben hasn’t been here in two weeks. Today is going to be Malcolm’s first day of full practice. So we want to see how all of those guys do, and it’ll be a tough decision at the end of the week, but a tough decision I’m going to be happy to have to make.”

Wednesday’s Practice Report

Did not practice
G Joshua Garnett (toe)
T Joe Staley (not injury related -- vet day)
S Jaquiski Tartt (shoulder)

Limited practice
WR Marquise Goodwin (quadricep)
G Mike Person (foot)
CB Ahkello Witherspoon (ankle)

Did not practice
S Eric Berry (heel)
DE Chris Jones (groin)

Limited practice
LB Ben Niemann (hamstring)

Full participation
G Cameron Erving (knee)
CB Kendall Fuller (hand)
DE Jarvis Jenkins (elbow)
LB Reggie Ragland (shoulder, knee)