SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) — The San Francisco 49ers activated Reuben Foster Wednesday after the star linebacker served a two-game suspension to start the 2018 season for violating the NFL’s conduct and substance abuse policies.
The suspension came in the wake of weapons possession and a misdemeanor drug charges, both of which were resolved earlier this year.
Head Coach Kyle Shanahan said he was confident Foster would be ready to go on Sunday against the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs.
“He seems great mentally,” Shanahan told reporters on Wednesday. “He’s been away two weeks, but I’m pretty optimistic he’s going to be all right physically. But, we’ll see it out on the field today.”
The 49ers head coach said the defense has missed an impact player like Foster in the first two games of the year.
“Reuben’s one of our best players,” he said. “I think he plays the position very well. Everyone knows how good of a tackler he is. But, he’s also good in coverage. Her can blitz the quarterback. He can do a lot of things. Just having his presence out there, just from a leadership standpoint, guys gravitate to him. We really enjoy having him around.”
In a written statement when the league ruling was handed down, Foster said he accepted the suspension and thanked 49er fans for their support.
“I accept the League’s decision and am sorry that my mistakes have hurt my team,” he wrote. “I have a responsibility to the 49ers, our fans and our community, and I am committed to learning from this situation and making better choices in the future. The support I have received over the last five months has been humbling, and I do not take it for granted.”
Foster was charged in January in Alabama with second-degree marijuana possession. That charge was eventually dismissed after he completed a first-time offender diversion course.
He then faced more serious charges for an incident in California in February. He was initially charged in April with felonies for domestic violence, making criminal threats and weapons possession after being accused of beating up his ex-girlfriend.
A judge ruled there was no probable cause on the first two charges after the ex-girlfriend recanted the allegations and the judge found no other evidence to support the charges. The weapons charge was reduced to a misdemeanor and Foster pleaded no-contest to that in June.
He was sentenced to two years’ probation, 232 hours of community service, and $235 in fines. He will not be allowed to own guns while he’s on probation.
The 49ers drafted Foster 31st overall last year after questions about his health and character caused him to drop from being a possible top 10 pick.
He made nine starts in his break out rookie season, registering 72 tackles, which ranked second on the team, and one pass defensed. He earned the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month Award for the month of November after picking up 30 tackles in three starts.
© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.