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The San Francisco 49ers will begin the 2018 National Football League season without its star linebacker and second-year man Reuben Foster.

The league has suspended Foster for two games after he violated its policy on Conduct and Substances Abuse. Nonetheless, Foster is still allowed to join the training camp and preseason games.

Earlier in the offseason, Foster was charged with a weapons offense and a misdemeanor drug offense by the Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office in California. Foster pleaded no contest on the gun charge while the marijuana possession offense was dropped, two months ago.

Surprisingly, the league did not dwell on the domestic violence accusations against him. Foster allegedly dragged his girlfriend before punching her in the head. Later on, however, his girlfriend admitted that she lied. After hearing the league’s decision on the matter, Foster apologized for the mistakes he made citing that the support that he received from fans was humbling.

“I have a responsibility to the 49ers, our fans and our community and I am committed to learning from this situation and making better choices in the future,” Foster said in a statement released by the 49ers on their website.

Team manager John Lynch added that they are supporting the league’s decision to disqualify Foster for two matches. The absence of Foster is set to weaken the defensive wall of the 49ers at the start of the season.

The first-round pick of last year’s draft displayed great resolve last year finishing in second on team tackles with 72. The Alabama product is set to miss the team’s game against the Minnesota Vikings and the Detroit Lions which is scheduled on Sept. 16.

Surprising Decision From The League

The NFL has imposed stricter protocols in the past with regards to domestic violence cases. It can be brought to mind that Ezekiel Elliot was once suspended for six games after a domestic violence allegation even though no charges were filed against him. On the other hand, Greg Hardy also received the same charges and the league suspended him without hearing the testament of her ex-girlfriend who did not testify. 

Besides Elliot and Hardy, the league also decided to suspend Jameis Winston after groping an Uber driver. However, the Uber driver did not take the case to legal authorities. Football pundits believe that the league went the easy way out on Foster stating that suspending the 49er star for domestic violence would result in creating a new league policy.

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