San Francisco 49ers

49ers notes: Reuben Foster closing in on his return

Linebacker Reuben Foster injured his ankle in the first half against the Carolina Panthers
Linebacker Reuben Foster injured his ankle in the first half against the Carolina Panthers The Bee

Linebacker Reuben Foster appears to be nearing his return from a high ankle sprain that has kept him out of action since Week 1.

The 49ers’ first-round draft pick spent the early part of Friday’s practice, helmet on his head, testing his ankle and lower leg by bursting out of his linebacker’s stance and then stopping short after five yards. He won’t play Sunday against the Colts, but Kyle Shanahan said the expectation is that he’ll rejoin practice Wednesday.

He said it’s too soon to say whether Foster will play in the team’s Oct. 15 game in Washington.

“I don’t know if the game is (realistic),” he said. “I think our goal is to realistically try to get him out at practice and then kind of play it from there.”

Shanahan said safety Eric Reid, who suffered a knee injury in Week 2, could be on the same schedule. “They’re both kind of in the same boat,” Shanahan said. “... We’re anticipating they’ll be ready to go on Wednesday. Then it will be a day-to-day thing to see if they have a chance in that game.”

Ray-Ray Armstrong has filled in for Foster at weak-side linebacker and leads the 49ers with 30 tackles. Jaquiski Tartt has played strong safety in place of Reid and has 26 tackles. He and Armstrong also have the 49ers’ only two interceptions on the season.

Colts cousin – Indianapolis on Friday signed a tight end, Henry Krieger Coble, to its 53-man roster, which might not be a big deal 49ers fans but is a huge one for one particular 49er.

Krieger Coble and San Francisco tight end George Kittle are first cousins who grew up playing football, baseball, hockey – everything – together. Their mothers are sisters, two of 10 girls in a family that grew up on a farm outside of Mount Union, Iowa.

“Henry always won because he was the biggest,” Kittle told the Iowa Gazette in 2015.

Both Krieger Coble and Kittle played at Iowa. Krieger Coble went undrafted last year and spent time on the Broncos practice squad and active roster. He went through the most recent training camp with the Colts. With tight end Jack Doyle out for Sunday’s game with a concussion, Indianapolis needed another tight end and signed Krieger Coble, who is expected to be in uniform.

Kittle, meanwhile, dealt with minor injuries – groin, hamstring and calf – early in the season but said Friday he’s felt 100 percent since Sunday’s game in Arizona.

Goodwin to go? – Receiver Marquise Goodwin practiced on a limited basis every day this week after suffering a concussion Sunday, his fourth in 14 months. Goodwin had a simulated contact test Friday. If he has no setbacks between now and Sunday, he is expected to play against the Colts.

He’s listed as questionable on the 49ers’ injury report, but Shanahan said he’d be surprised if Goodwin can’t play in Indianapolis. Goodwin has been unavailable to reporters this week because he has been in the NFL’s concussion protocol.

Et cetera – The 49ers’ top two running backs, Carlos Hyde (oblique) and Matt Breida (ankle), practiced in full on Friday and are not listed on the injury report this week. They had been limited in practice earlier in the week.

▪ Neither linebacker Dekoda Watson (groin) nor safety Adrian Colbert (hamstring) practiced this week and were declared out against the Colts. That could lead to the NFL debuts of cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon and defensive end Pita Taumoepenu. Both rookies have been inactive for each game this season.

▪ The Colts ruled out a pair of starters, Doyle and cornerback Nate Hairston (quadriceps), for Sunday’s game. Quarterback Andrew Luck (shoulder) also will not play.

San Francisco 49ers insider Matt Barrows tells you who to watch in this week's NFL matchup against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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