SportsPulse: By signing someone just arrested days ago on domestic abuse charges, and not even giving Colin Kaepernick a workout after Alex Smith’s injury, tells you all you need to know about how the Redskins run things.
ASHBURN, Va. — Reuben Foster arrived at the Washington Redskins’ training facility Wednesday, a day after the club claimed the former San Francisco 49ers linebacker off waivers in the aftermath of his Saturday arrest on a domestic battery charge.
There’s no indication when he will be allowed to play – or even practice – as he remains on the commissioner’s exempt list. As controversial as picking up Foster was, there was a contingent of former University of Alabama teammates ready to welcome him in Washington if he’s cleared.
“If he’s able to play this season, that’d be great,” Redskins linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton, who played with Foster on the Crimson Tide from 2014-16, told USA TODAY Sports. “If not, I’m sure he will be playing for us in the future.”
Foster, who underwent a physical Wednesday, was not made available to reporters. He’s scheduled to be arraigned in Tampa on Jan. 3 on the single misdemeanor count of domestic battery stemming from an alleged incident with the same woman whose claims earlier this year led to domestic violence charges in Northern California.
Those charges – outside a gun charge stemming from his February arrest – were dismissed after the accuser recanted the allegations.
Redskins head coach Jay Gruden didn’t make any proclamations about whether Foster would play this season.
“We understand it’s going to be a long process for him,” Gruden told reporters. “He’s a young player. He’s made a mistake or two. At the end of the day, we decided to take a chance and deal with it.”
Gruden said he was “sure there was” some consideration of the blowback from signing a player under investigation for a second domestic violence arrest since February. Gruden declined to say who within the organization made the final call to claim Foster.
“At the end of the day, we decided to make the move,” Gruden said. “We will deal with the outcry, so to speak. For the most part this is a young athlete, a young person, who got himself into some trouble and we want to find out what happened. … We want to let the process play out and get to the bottom of it. There’s no guarantee he will ever play here.”
USA TODAY Sports reported Tuesday that the Philadelphia Eagles – the Redskins’ opponent on Monday night – were the only team to contact Tampa police about Foster’s latest arrest. Gruden said nobody with the team reached out to the alleged accuser before the Redskins put in a waiver claim.
The Redskins said in a statement Tuesday that management made the move after ”candid conversations with a number of his ex-Alabama teammates.”
Safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix wasn’t among those former Crimson Tide players who were purportedly consulted.
“I didn’t talk to (Redskins president) Bruce (Allen) or anybody,” said Clinton-Dix, who played on the 2013 Alabama team with Foster.
Defensive lineman Jonathan Allen also said he wasn’t consulted, although he vouched for Foster on Wednesday.
“Reuben is a great guy,” said Allen, who was a member of the same recruiting class as Foster and played on the 2015 national championship team. “I have nothing negative to say about him. I don’t know situation, so I can’t really speak on that. From me experience with him in college, I never had a problem with him.”
Hamilton and Ryan Anderson gave no comment to reporters when asked if they were among the former teammates who spoke with management.
Foster was suspended for the first two games of this season, a decision handed down by the league after a pair of incidents last offseason: a marijuana possession arrest in Alabama and a domestic violence arrest at Foster’s Los Gatos, Calif., home in February.
A judge dropped the most serious charge – felony domestic assault – after his on-again-off-again girlfriend said she fabricated the allegations. Foster pleaded no contest to a gun charge stemming from the same incident, which resulted in a sentence of community service and probation.
Hamilton said he believed Foster would benefit from being surrounded by the seven former Crimson Tide players in Washington, though two are on injured reserve.
“I tell my family that I have former teammates here with me who are always there for me,” Hamilton said. “We have each others’ backs 24/7. It makes life a lot easier.”
Follow A.J. Perez on Twitter @byajperez.