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San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster is scheduled to return this week from a two-game suspension to start the season.
The team activated the rising star on Wednesday ahead of Sunday’s game against the high-octane offense of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Foster suspended in wake of domestic violence charge
The NFL suspended Foster in July for violation of the league’s conduct and substance abuse polices, citing a weapons offense and misdemeanor drug offense. Foster pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor gun charge, while charges were dropped for a marijuana arrest during the offseason.
What wasn’t addressed in the suspension were serious domestic violence allegations against Foster that were eventually dropped when the alleged victim recanted her initial statement, claiming she made up the story for money.
Foster’s former girlfriend Elissa Ennis told police that Foster “dragged her by the hair, physically removed her from their house, and punched her in her head at least eight times,” resulting in several injuries including a ruptured eardrum.
Accuser said she suffered injury elsewhere
In recanting her statement, Ennis said she suffered the ruptured eardrum in an altercation with a woman.
Foster addressed the suspension after the NFL handed it down.
“I accept the League’s decision and am sorry that my mistakes have hurt my team,” Foster said. “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. The support I have received over the last five months has been humbling, and I do not take it for granted.”
49ers defense off to rough start
Through two games, the 49ers rank 23rd in the NFL in total defense en route to a 1-1 start that includes a 24-16 loss over the Minnesota Vikings and 30-27 win over the Detroit Lions.
Foster, a first-round rookie last season who made an immediate impact at inside linebacker, will be a welcome addition on the field to a defense that has struggled to slow opposing offenses so far.
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