Reuben Foster has been activated from the PUP list. This is excellent news for the Washington Football Team’s defense.
Reuben Foster was claimed off waivers by the Washington Football Team midway through the 2018 NFL season, but he has yet to play a snap for the team. At the beginning of his time with the team, he was on the Commissioner’s Exempt list as charges of domestic violence against him were being examined.
Before the 2019 season, Foster was cleared. But just a few snaps into OTAs, he suffered a catastrophic knee injury that sidelined him for the entire 2019 campaign.
A year-plus removed from that, there were still questions about whether or not Foster would be able to play. After all, he had torn his ACL, MCL, and LCL and suffered nerve damage as a result of the injury.
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But on Sunday, Foster took another positive step in his recovery. He was activated from the PUP list, according to the team’s official Twitter account. And now, he will be ready to battle for a role in Washington’s defense.
While many have expected that Foster would battle Jon Bostic for the starting role at the middle linebacker position, ESPN’s John Keim has indicated that Foster is viewed as an outside linebacker by the team. So, that means that Foster will battle the likes of Thomas Davis and Cole Holcomb for playing time.
It’s probably ideal for Foster to be eased back into action much like Jaylon Smith was in his early years with the Dallas Cowboys after his Notre Dame knee injury. As such, playing Foster in a rotation with Davis, a 37-year-old veteran, would make quite a bit of sense. Both could see the field but would remain fresh enough to perform at a peak level. It will be interesting to see if that’s what Washington’s plan is or if they want to use Foster in a different capacity.
With Foster healthy, Washington will have to plan accordingly as they look to craft their 53-man roster. It seems likely that they’ll keep seven true linebackers in Foster, Davis, Holcomb, Bostic, Kevin Pierre-Louis, Shaun Dion Hamilton, and Khaleke Hudson to give themselves quite a bit of depth at the position. Loading up at linebacker could impact their ability to carry depth elsewhere, but it would be worth it to carry so many contributors.
Foster’s presence is a boon for Washington’s defense. He has the potential to be a three-down linebacker and he changes the outlook for the team. If he can return to form quickly, he could help make the team’s front seven one of the best in the NFL. It will all be about how healthy he is.
Either way, Foster’s activation is good news for Washington. We’ll see what he can do off the bat, but the defense’s ceiling is now higher. And they may be just a couple of pieces away from being very competitive on that side of the ball.