ASHBURN — The Washington Redskins added inside linebacker Mason Foster on Tuesday to help address the lack of depth at the position in the wake of Perry Riley’s strained left calf.
“We needed another inside backer to play in case something happened to Keenan [Robinson] or [Will] Compton,” coach Jay Gruden said.
In four seasons and 57 games with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Foster had 343 tackles, six sacks, 12 pass deflections, five interceptions and two touchdowns.
In addition to providing insurance, Foster is expected to contribute on special teams.
“[Foster]’s done a lot of work on special teams and is going to be an asset for us in that role, especially on punt protection,” Gruden said. “It was a no-brainer for us.”
Foster’s experience could prove invaluable for the Redskins, whose punt protection unit appeared particularly weak against the New York Giants. After nearly blocking Tress Way’s first punt, which was then brought back on a penalty, Rashad Jennings broke through again and blocked Way’s punt into the end zone for a safety.
Inside linebacker Terrance Plummer, an undrafted rookie playing in his second game, was quickly replaced at that position during the game by tight end Derek Carrier.
The Chicago Bears signed Foster this offseason before cutting him on Sept. 5, the NFL’s deadline for teams to whittle rosters to 53. Despite the surprising move, the 26-year-old remained confident that his career was far from over, and that it wouldn’t be long before a team would call for his services.
“I knew that it would come sooner or later,” Foster said. “It was just a matter of time and a matter of being ready.”
To stay ready, Foster packed up his things and drove seven hours from Chicago to train at South Dakota, where his college roommate serves as an assistant coach.
“I liked it because it was in the middle of nowhere,” Foster said. “No distractions really, nothing to do, just sit around and get better.”
That path led him to Washington.
“I’m excited man,” Foster said. “I feel like this is where I am supposed to be.”