INDIANAPOLIS – Linebacker Reuben Foster will likely not play again until Week 3 of the regular season after leaving the 49ers’ exhibition game Saturday with a concussion.
San Francisco has a quick turnaround, playing the final game of the exhibition season on Thursday against the Los Angeles Chargers. It is doubtful Foster will have enough time to pass the NFL’s return-to-play protocol.
Foster will then serve a two-game NFL suspension at the start of the regular season for violations of the league’s policies on substances of abuse and personal conduct.
He is eligible to rejoin the team to practice on Monday, Sept. 17. He is eligible to make his season debut on Sunday, Sept. 23, at the Kansas City Chiefs.
The 49ers began preparing for Foster’s absence on Saturday against the Indianapolis Colts. Rookie Fred Warner started at middle linebacker, with veteran Malcolm Smith starting at the weakside linebacker spot.
When Foster entered the game in the first quarter, he took over for Smith at weakside linebacker. Foster recorded two tackles, including one stop for a loss, in Saturday’s game before his injury.