San Francisco 49ers

49ers Reuben Foster won’t just play, he’ll start

On Friday, it appeared the only think keeping Reuben Foster from returning to the 49ers' defensive lineup was unforeseen setback with his injured ankle.

Two days later, the ankle is OK and the plan is for Foster to start at inside linebacker against the Cowboys. In that scenario, Foster is likely to be in the "Mike" linebacker role veteran NaVorro Bowman was in over the first five games.

That job calls from the player to wear a radio receiver in his helmet, to get the plays from the sideline and to huddle his teammates and deliver the play call.

“The ‘Mike’ linebacker, I get it, he’s look at like he’s a leader,” defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said Thursday. “But everyone can lead on this football team. Everyone can lead in life. It just depends on what you view as leadership.”

Ray-Ray Armstrong, with whom Foster had an early-morning robbery scare on Monday, is the top candidate to play weak-side linebacker against Dallas.

As expected fullback Kyle Juszczyk (back) and defensive end Aaron Lynch (calf) are inactive. The 49ers have four tight ends in uniform today to compensated for Juszczy’s absence.

With Lynch and Arik Armstead (hand/IR) not available, both of the defensive linemen the team signed this week, Tony McDaniel and Leger Douzable, are in uniform and available.

For the first time since Week 1, Kentrick Bourne is active while fellow undrafted rookie Victor Bolden is down. Bolden has handled kickoffs the last five games; Raheem Mostert could have that task today.

49ers inactives

FB Kyle Juszczyk

DE Aaron Lynch

OL Erik Magnuson

WR Victor Bolden

DE Pita Taumoepenu

LB Mark Nzeocha

DB Dexter McCoil

Cowboys inactives

QB Kellen Moore

RB Darren McFadden

CB Chidobe AwuzieJ

LB Justin Durant

DE Damontre’ Moore

T Byron Bell

DE Benson Mayowa

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at