Robert Foster ready to return to football after last season's injuryBy Matt Speakman | 03/21/2016 10:33pm
No. 8 Robert Foster during Alabama's A-Day last spring. CW | Layton Dudley
After being sidelined with a shoulder injury all last season, junior Robert Foster has returned to the field, and he is ready to pick up where he left off. Foster caught 10 passes for 116 yards and 2 touchdowns before going down in the Ole Miss game.
Foster missed Alabama's last 12 games due to his injury, but now, he is back. As of Monday, Alabama has two spring practices under its built, both of which Foster participated in while sporting a black, non-contact jersey.
“We put him in a black shirt because he’s coming off an injury, but he’s done everything that everybody else is doing, running all the routes, learning,” Saban said.
Foster's return will allow him to compete once again for time in the receiver rotation, joining players like sophomore Calvin Ridley and junior Ar’Darius Stewart.
Even though he has spent time off of the field, Foster has still been able to watch his teammates and grow mentally. Being sidelined broadened Foster's knowledge of his position and the game in general.
“He learned a lot last year when he wasn’t playing in terms of what he needed to do to play winning football,” Saban said. “He’s played with a lot more confidence in these two practices in terms of knowing what to do and how to do it.”
Saban compared Foster’s time off to a time in his own life when he was sidelined from high school basketball due to a chipped bone. He said he used to sit above the basket and examine the size of the hoop, so he could learn how to shoot better. Saban uses this as an example of how players, like Foster, can use time away from playing as learning experiences.
Foster’s teammates noticed his confidence during these first two practices. Senior OJ Howard said that Foster does not seem affected by the injury and has been able to ease back into the flow of the game.
“When I get a chance to run routes, he looks normal to me,” Howard said. “I don’t think his injury is bothering him at all, from what I can see. He knows the plays, so he’s looking smooth to me.”
With the addition of Foster back into the rotation, Alabama looks to build on its passing game from previous years. Foster offers the Crimson Tide another receiver to stretch the field. With talent at that position, Howard said the Crimson Tide’s passing game could be strong for the upcoming season.
“In the passing game we can be elite,” he said. “We can do that almost every other game. Just have guys, not even me having that many yards in one game, every guy can do that. That’s how we could be, and that’s how I think we’re going to be once we get everything going.”