- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 9, 2020

Washington activated linebacker Reuben Foster from the Physically Unable to Perform list, meaning he’ll now be eligible to practice with the team — more than a year after the 26-year-old suffered a devastating knee injury.

The move comes two days after Washington released running back Derrius Guice, who was arrested Friday on domestic violence-related charges. He faces three counts of assault and battery, one count of destruction of property and one count of strangulation, a felony.

Washington said Friday it released Guice “upon review of the nature of these charges and following internal discussions.”

Foster has yet to play with Washington since being claimed off waivers in November 2018. The signing drew heavy criticism as the move came just days after Foster was arrested on domestic violence-related charges for the second time, which caused the San Francisco 49ers to release him. Foster was placed on the NFL’s Commissioner Exempt list, but the linebacker was reinstated once the charges were dropped.

In May 2019, Foster tore his ACL and LCL during his first offseason practice with Washington. The former first-rounder went down when he stepped on a teammate’s foot, landing awkwardly and crying out in pain. It was later revealed that Foster also suffered nerve damage from the injury, causing him to lose feeling in his foot.

Foster, though, has since made great strides in his rehab and was placed on the PUP list to begin training camp. When on the list, Foster was not allowed to practice with the team, but was eligible to work with trainers and participate in team meetings.

Washington’s coaches were optimistic that Foster could contribute in 2020, potentially being a starter.

“I really like where Reuben is, I like his intent,” linebackers coach Steve Russ said last week. “I really like his focus. I like his discipline right now. And obviously we’re rooting for him. We are his biggest fans; I want to see him get back out there and play football. I know that’s what he loves to do. And that’s what he’s worked very, very hard to do.”

Drafted 31st overall in 2017 out of Alabama, Foster has been effective when healthy. He had a promising rookie season in which he had 79 tackles in 10 games for the 49ers. In 2018, he recorded 29 tackles in six games.

Injuries and off the field troubles, however, have limited Foster. As a rookie, he missed six games with ankle and rib injuries. Entering his second season, he was suspended the first two weeks for violating the league’s personal conduct policy for two offseason arrests, one related to marijuana and another to domestic violence (both cases were dismissed). Foster later suffered a shoulder injury in October 2018.

Foster’s unreliability caused Washington to decline his fifth-year option in April, which means Foster will be eligible for free agency after this upcoming season.

With Foster, Washington’s linebacking corps could look vastly different than it did a year ago. The team re-signed veteran Jon Bostic and has younger players like Cole Holcomb and Shaun Dion Hamilton on the roster. But it also added veterans like Thomas Davis and Kevin Pierre-Louis to compete for playing time.

Guice, meanwhile, went unclaimed on waivers Sunday, making him a free agent. In a statement to multiple outlets, Peter D. Greenspun, Guice’s attorney, said 23-year-old “adamantly denies” the charges. The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office said that the arrest stemmed from three earlier incidents — taking place on Feb. 14, March 13 and April 17 — at Guice’s home, reported originally to the Montgomery County Police Department in Maryland.

“Derrius has continued to work exceedingly hard to contribute to the Washington Football Team and was expected to be a key player this season, yet he was released without a single question as to what occurred,” Greenspun said. “Derrius will defend these charges in court, where a full vetting of the allegations will take place, in contract to actions by local law enforcement and the Washington Football Team that assumed the worst, directly contradicting every sense of fairness and due process.”

In other roster moves, Washington also activated tight end Logan Thomas from the league’s reserve/COVID-19 list on Sunday.

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