Reuben Foster was held back a bit in Thurday’s practice because of an issue with his right shoulder, but it’s not the same injury that required surgery before the draft.
Foster, the 31st pick in the draft, was diagnosed with a mild AC joint sprain in his right shoulder. That’s the same shoulder that he had surgically repaired in February and which reportedly scared off a few other teams in the run-up to the draft. That procedure, however, was to fix a torn rotator cuff.
Kyle Shanahan said the latest injury was minor and something that all linebackers endure. In fact, NaVorro Bowman suffered a similar sprain during Thursday’s practice and did not return. He, too, said it wasn’t a big deal and that if it were a game he would have played through the discomfort.
“I’ve probably had a million of them,” Bowman said after practice. “It comes from playing linebacker. You can’t run from it.”
Shanahan said he expects that Foster will be able to play in Saturday’s exhibition game against the Broncos but that it hasn’t been determined yet. If he can’t, Ray-Ray Armstrong would start at weak-side linebacker. If Bowman doesn’t play, Brock Coyle would start at middle linebacker.
Foster left practice midway through Wednesday’s session with the Broncos at which point trainers worked on his right shoulder. He returned to the action during seven-on-seven drills but was held out of team-wide functions – when there is more contact and a greater risk of collisions – for the remainder of the session. That was his routine on Thursday as well.
“It’s just a minor thing,” Foster said afterward. “It ain’t nothing real.”
Et cetera – Shanahan said rookie C.J. Beathard would be the first quarterback off the bench against the Broncos on Saturday. Matt Barkley, with whom Beathard is competing for the role of No. 2 quarterback, was the second quarterback to enter last week against the Chiefs.
▪ Thursday’s practice with the Broncos was marked by several dust-ups, including one that was sparked when 49ers receiver Pierre Garcon tackled cornerback Aqib Talib following an interception. The two veterans were observed chatting and laughing after practice and both coaches deemed the sessions a success.
▪ With several injuries at inside linebacker, the 49ers welcomed back Shayne Skov on Thursday. Skov has been on and off the team’s roster since 2014. They most recently cut him on May 2.