Foster cleared for 49ers practice; Thomas remains unsigned
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Reuben Foster has been cleared to go for the San Francisco 49ers after missing the offseason program rehabilitating his injured right shoulder. The status of San Francisco's other first-round pick remains in doubt on the eve of the first training camp practice.
No. 3 overall pick Solomon Thomas remained unsigned Thursday as his teammates reported for training camp. Thomas did not take part in the conditioning test and is running out of time to report before the first practice on Friday morning.
''I'm concerned right now,'' general manager John Lynch said. ''I wish this were done. It should be done. I'm disappointed with myself certainly that it's not. I'm also learning that this is part of the business. I'm encouraged and hopeful we can get it done and we'll see.''
Thomas plays the same position, was picked in the same spot in the draft and is represented by the same agency, CAA, as Joey Bosa was last year. Bosa didn't sign his contract until Aug. 29, hampering the start of his rookie season.
Lynch is hopeful the Niners won't have a repeat of that experience and that Thomas can be under contract before the first practice. The only other two first-round picks who remain unsigned are Tennessee's Corey Davis (fifth overall) and Oakland's Gareon Conley (24th).
''I'm aware from my experience as a player and we all are in the business of football that deadlines typically get these things done,'' Lynch said. ''We're drawing close to that and hopefully we'll continue to make progress and tie this thing up so Solomon can be here with his teammates.''
Complicating matters even more is the fact that Thomas missed the offseason program because Stanford was still in session until after the end of minicamp.
Foster, picked 31st overall, signed his contract in June but also did not practice in team drills in the offseason as he recovered from an operation on his shoulder that scared some teams away from drafting him. He spent the past month rehabilitating at the team facility and was cleared by doctors earlier this week after getting a clean ultrasound.
He is expected to practice Friday and be in pads for the first padded practice Sunday.
''He's chomping at the bit,'' Lynch said. ''We almost had to have a leash on him to keep him out of drills.''
Once considered a top 10 pick, Foster slipped to the end of the first round even though San Francisco's doctors were confident the shoulder would not be a long-term issue.
Coach Kyle Shanahan said he hopes that the productive time that Foster had in meeting rooms in the offseason will make for a quick transition to the field.
''He surprised me with his knowledge of the defense and how much he paid attention not only to his own position but to the overall scheme,'' Shanahan said. ''I think he's in as good a spot as he can be without stepping on the field.''
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