Foster Returns to Practice for Steelers

Left guard feels he will be ready for opener

Josh Rowntree
August 27, 2018 - 4:48 pm
Steelers LG Ramon Foster during practice in 2018

Josh Rowntree - 93.7 The Fan

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For a brief moment early in training camp, the Steelers and left guard Ramon Foster feared that the worst. 

Foster went down with a right knee injury on July 28, the first day that the team wore pads in Latrobe. He was carted off the field, later to be diagnosed with a hyperextension and a bone bruise. 

“That was my first ever real injury,” Foster said. “I’ve had thumb surgeries and stuff like that, but to have something, a lower body extremity, I thought it was over. I thought it was the worst.”

The news that Foster would only miss camp, something he joked that all players would like, was a collective sigh of relief for Pittsburgh. 

“To say I’d be ready for week one, I honestly didn’t think that either,” Foster said. “But the body is weird.”

Back out on the field Monday, Foster was up to his light-hearted, jocular ways. 

“He hasn’t been away from us,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “Ramon’s the type of guy, he understands the role that he provides, not only the tangible role in terms of his play, but the unofficial role in terms of his veteran leadership.

“So, although we haven’t had him out there, he’s been really close to the group. He’d done the job in that regard and it’s good to have him back out there participating.”

Foster was pleased to return, saying that the knee responded well to the practice. That is a positive sign, as the 32-year-old, 325-pound guard was working in temperatures over 90 degrees. He is being careful about not over-doing the conditioning element he has missed over the last month. 

“I’ll take it how it is,” he said. “Being in the League this long, I know what it takes to get it done in a sense of managing what I’m doing, how I’m doing it, stuff like that. So it’s not a huge deal, the conditioning part.”

The Steelers are not going to rush him either, as reserve guard B.J. Finney has more than held his own in place of Foster in this preseason and in the past. Foster also has the confidence of Pittsburgh’s coaching staff.

“It’s one of the things that Coach [Tomlin] always says, too, is ‘I don’t have to tell you what to do, you just be ready week one,’” Foster added. “That’s the clutch thing about having a relationship with a coach like that.”

Foster is in the final year of his contract with the Steelers. The knee injury may have prevented an extension from getting done, but there still is a window before the season begins. The improvement in health also means Foster will have a chance to show what he can do, in case an agreement is not reached before next Sunday.

“Nobody wants to go their whole football career and have it end on an injury or something like that,” he said. “Or have an uphill climb to get back. So it was exciting.”

Hear all of what Foster had to say below.