Throughout the 2016 college football season, Reuben Foster looked like a first-round lock in the NFL Draft. The linebacker logged 115 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and five sacks as his Alabama defense steamrolled through the SEC before a loss to Clemson in the national championship game.
In the months since an actual football was snapped, Foster's stock has taken some hits. It started after the season when he underwent surgery for a rotator cuff injury. Then, at the NFL Combine, Foster engaged in an argument with a hospital worker and was sent home.
On Thursday, the latest bombshell dropped. Foster will enter the NFL under the substance abuse program after his urine sample from Indianapolis came back as diluted.
From Ian Rapoport's NFL.com story:
Foster was notified that his urine sample obtained in Indianapolis during the combine was reported as dilute. Based on the provisions of the NFL's policy and program for substances of abuse, "this will be treated like a positive test."
As for why the test came back dilute, Foster explained in detail. He said he was sick before the combine. He was throwing up, had diarrhea, couldn't keep anything down and was cramping. One adviser offered to have a doctor put him on IVs to hydrate, but he didn't want that. He saw a doctor, got some medication and started hydrating himself.
What all of this controversy will do for Foster in the draft could be quite interesting for Redskins fans. A linebacker with speed, Foster could be a big boost on the interior of the 'Skins 3-4 base. For months, it seemed he would not make it until the 17th pick, as most mocks had him selected inside the top 12 selections.
After the combine situation, projections slipped somewhat for Foster, but still, in most places, the 'Bama LB went by the 15th pick.
Entering the NFL in the drug protocol, where there will be increased testing and the potential for immediate suspensions, could scare off a number of teams.
"I hope I go on Thursday, but I can't control that," Foster told Rapoport.
The NFL Draft always brings surprises, but what happens with Foster will be one of the more interesting scenarios to watch unfold next Thursday in Philadelphia.
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