Reuben Foster’s chances of being a top-10 NFL Draft pick just took a big hit.
Former Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Reuben Foster, a potential top-10 pick in next month's NFL draft, is being sent home from the Indianapolis scouting combine for a "heated altercation" he got into Friday with a hospital worker, according to multiple sources.
All one NFL spokesman would say was that Foster was being sent home for "personal reasons." He did not want to comment further.
Foster, the top-graded inside linebacker for many teams, was scheduled to go through team interviews Friday night and testing Saturday, none of which will happen now, according to sources. Foster is scheduled to fly home to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on Saturday.
This looks bad for Foster, but according to Schefter, it sounds like the hospital worker who he was arguing with may have helped contribute to the exchange.
Another league source said there was a "miscommunication" that allowed the argument between Foster and a hospital worker to escalate.
Foster had been waiting for an extended period for what the NFL calls his "pre-exam," when he grew increasingly impatient and began questioning a hospital worker.
The hospital worker did not take kindly to Foster's words and eventually the two were face to face, in a heated exchange.
Still, this is a bad look for Foster, who was only able to do medical checks and some team interviews at the combine as he recovers from shoulder surgery, which prevented him from doing any on-field testing and drills. Some of his interviews were cancelled after the alteration.
Foster is widely considered the best middle linebacker in this year’s draft and a strong target for the Bengals in Round 1. This past season, Foster was the Butkus Award winner, which goes to the top linebacker in college football, as well as a first-team All-SEC selection and earned game MVP honors in Alabama's 54-16 win over Florida in the SEC Championship.
Ironically, this news came out hours after I mocked Foster to Cincy at pick No. 9, which has been a common occurrence this offseason. In hindsight, I probably wouldn’t put him there now since he has several issues and this could be the final straw that keeps him from going that high.
That’s not to say he won’t go there if he’s still on the board, but not having enough composure to keep from being kicked out of the combine is a big red flag. That, coupled with his shoulder issues that will keep him sidelined up until around the start of training camp, makes him a risky prospect to take that high for a team that needs an instant-impact guy they can count on.