Rookie Reuben Foster was carted off the field Sunday in the first quarter of his first NFL game with an ankle injury.
Foster was injured when his right leg got pinned underneath him was tackling Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey as he was getting blocked by Panthers left tackle Matt Kalil.
Foster was in significant pain and he remained on the ground. The 49ers’ medical staff rushed to Foster’s side and his teammates, including veteran linebacker NaVorro Bowman, surrounded him.
Foster, the No. 31 overall pick, was off to a strong start through the first nine minutes of the game with three tackles and broke up a Cam Newton pass.
Shortly after he was taken to the locker room, the 49ers announced that Foster’s return to action was “questionable" due to a leg injury.
On the play immediately following Foster’s injury, 49ers safety Jaquiski Tartt surrendered a 40-yard touchdown pass from Cam Newton to Devin Funchess. The Panthers led 7-0 after one quarter.
Early in the second quarter, Foster walked from the locker room back to the 49ers sideline with a noticeable limp. He watched the second half from the sidelined, as the 49ers updated Foster's status as "out" with an ankle injury.
San Francisco 49ers assistant coach Katie Sowers has a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Sowers, in her role as seasonal offensive assistant, became the first female assistant in NFC history this season. Sowers is situated upstairs for game days as part of Kyle Shanahan’s staff.
Sowers donated her coaching shirt and binder from the Week 1 game against the Carolina Panthers to the Hall of Fame.
“The Pro Football Hall of Fame is pleased that Coach Katie Sowers has donated artifacts from her regular-season debut as the first fulltime female coach in NFC history,” Hall of Fame executive director Joe Horrigan said in a statement.
“Her pioneering role in pro football will undoubtedly inspire others to work to overcome obstacles while pursuing their dreams and aspirations.”
Kathryn Smith, a member of the Buffalo Bills staff last season, was the league’s first full-time female assistant.
SANTA CLARA – Rookie linebacker Reuben Foster has made significant physical improvement just nine days after sustaining a high right ankle sprain.
The 49ers’ medical staff no longer requires Foster to wear an orthopedic boot to stabilize his foot. On Tuesday, he was seen walking briskly through the 49ers’ locker room with no hint of an issue.
Foster will not play Thursday night when the 49ers return to action against the Los Angeles Rams. Beyond this week, it remains possible Foster could make a quick return to the field.
“The one thing I know is that freak athletes tend to be freak healers, as well,” 49ers general manager John Lynch told NBC Sports Bay Area on Tuesday.
Lynch said the team will take no chances with Foster and it’s too early to tell if it’s possible he can return to the lineup Oct. 1 against the Arizona Cardinals. Foster sustained the ankle injury on the 11th play of the season opener against the Carolina Panthers.
“We think the sky’s the limit for Reuben,” Lynch said. “We just have to get him healthy and we’re going to make sure he’s all the way healthy. We can’t afford, with a guy like that, to put him out there too soon.
“He wanted to play the first week in the boot. That’s just the way he’s wired. We got to make sure he’s all the way healthy before we put him in, and we’re going to do that.”