49ers notebook: Suspended Foster may participate in practice

San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Reuben Foster is suspended for the first two games.Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Sports Xchange

By Dave Del Grande, The Sports Xchange

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The 49ers expect star linebacker Reuben Foster at the start of training camp this month even though he has been suspended for the first two games of the regular season.

Foster is allowed to participate in all preseason activities, including the club's four exhibition games.

He will then sit out the regular-season opener at Minnesota and home opener against Detroit, before being allowed to make his 2018 debut Sept. 23 at Kansas City.

Foster, suspended by the NFL after having been charged with possession of marijuana in Alabama and possession of a firearm in California, did not contest the punishment.

"I accept the league's decision and am sorry that my mistakes have hurt my team," Foster was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the 49ers. "I have a responsibility to the 49ers, our fans and our community, and I am committed to learning from this situation and making better choices in the future."

Backup Brock Coyle, who made 10 starts in Foster's injury-related absences last season, and rookie third-round pick Fred Warner are considered the front-runners to replace the standout in his absence.

--Training camp physicals will be a must-watch for the 49ers as they will determine just how much newcomer Richard Sherman will be able to participate.

The former All-Pro suffered an Achilles injury nine games into the 2017 season and was projected to miss a full year.

That was about 10 months ago, and Sherman has since indicated he believes he's ahead of schedule.

The 30-year-old was an active (non-contact) participant in the 49ers' OTAs, claiming at the time that he could have joined fulltime with his teammates had it been required.

Until last year, when he missed seven games, Sherman had played all 16 games for the Seattle Seahawks in each of his six seasons.