SANTA CLARA, Calif. — San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster was suspended Tuesday without pay for the first two games of the regular season for violating the NFL’s conduct and substance-abuse policy.
In addition to that, Foster will also be fined for violations from a weapons offense and misdemeanor drug charge that were resolved earlier this off-season.
“I accept the League’s decision and am sorry that my mistakes have hurt my team,” Foster said in a statement. “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.”
The 31st overall draft pick was charged in January with second-degree marijuana possession which was dismissed after he completed the first-time offender diversion course. The legal trouble didn’t stop there as Foster faced more serious charges for an incident in California a month later. His rough off-season continued as he was charged with felonies for domestic violence, weapons possessions, and making criminal threats after being accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend.
However, the ex-girlfriend later recanted her allegations causing the judge to rule that there was no probable cause on the domestic violence and criminal threat charges. The weapons charge was reduced to a misdemeanor as Foster pleaded no-contest to that in June. As a result, he was sentenced to two years’ probation, 232 hours of community service, and $235 in fines. He will not be allowed to own guns during his probation.
“Our organization understands and supports the League’s decision,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said. “Although we are disappointed that Reuben will not be with our team for the first two games of the season, we will continue to work with him on making better decisions and eliminating unnecessary distractions. We are encouraged to see Reuben take responsibility for his mistakes, and hopeful that he has learned from them as well.”
Foster was a key part of the 49ers defense last year, accumulating 72 tackles in 10 games during his impressive rookie campaign.
Foster will make his season debut on September 23 against the Kansas City Chiefs.