- An alleged run-in with a hospital employee has put an early end to Reuben Foster's combine experience. It shouldn't send his stock plummeting, but it's a strange situation regardless.
INDIANAPOLIS — In a rather unprecedented turn of combine events, Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster was sent home early, following an alleged run-in with a hospital employee on Friday.
The MMQB’s Robert Klemko provided more details Saturday morning:
Foster grew impatient with long line for exams... pulled the 'do you know who I am?' card.— Robert Klemko (@RobertKlemko) March 4, 2017
Foster warned the man that he'd put hands on him, and the employee said, simply, Do it.— Robert Klemko (@RobertKlemko) March 4, 2017
Foster posted a video to Instagram on Saturday morning, in which he said, per al.com, “Nothing happened. ... Talk to Tim (Williams), talk to Ryan (Anderson), talk to Dalvin (Tomlinson). Them boys know. They were there.”
Anderson would not go into many details, during his Saturday afternoon press conference, but he did say he felt “like it was blown out of proportion.”
All combine participants are subject to extensive testing before they participate in the physical drills. That can involve each team’s doctors checking out a player, plus MRIs and X-rays at a local facility. The entire process can take up several hours, the exact length of time commitment linked to how concerned teams are over a player’s history.
Foster recently had rotator cuff surgery and was not scheduled to participate in the bench press or drills here, so he fell under the umbrella of those with injury red flags. Now, there’s another potential issue.
“Reuben’s one of those guys who’s hard-working, humble, respectful,” Tomlinson said. “I don’t know everything that happened over there at the hospital—I was still coming back and forth from X-rays, so I don’t really know what happened. I have to speak to Reuben later on today.”
Tomlinson added that he would give Foster a call, “if I get an opportunity. I’m just going to ask him how he’s feeling, ask him everything that happened, check up on him and make sure he’s all good.”
The next chance for Foster to be in the spotlight will be next Wednesday, at Alabama’s Pro Day. He still will not be able to work out, post-surgery, but he may meet the media after missing Saturday’s linebacker session in Indianapolis.
“Very surprising, disappointing, but it happens,” said another of Foster’s ex-Alabama teammates, potential top-five pick Jonathan Allen.
Foster, shoulder issue and all, entered the combine as the presumed top linebacker prospect and an early first-round option himself. Friday’s incident should not send his stock plummeting, if the initial reactions to it hold. But it’s an unusual situation, to say the least.