INDIANAPOLIS—The Dolphins thoroughly investigate every potential draft pick, but this one will require extra attention.
Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster, an exceptional talent initially thought to be well out of range for Miami with its No. 22 pick, was expelled from the NFL Combine this week after a reported altercation with a medical staffer.
The Dolphins’ most pressing need is linebacker, though they have said they will take the best available talent in the first round, and it’s unknown whether they had a chance to sit down with Foster in Indianapolis before his abrupt exit. He was projected to be a top-10 pick.
With Foster gone, his former college teammates were left to face questions about what happened.
“He’s gonna have his opportunity to tell his story,” fellow Crimson Tide linebacker Tim Williams said Saturday. “Right now, there’s stuff out there in the media that he’s gonna have to answer for. I can’t answer it for him.”
The NFL did not clarify anything publicly other than Foster’s dismissal, but Sports Illustrated’s Robert Klemko reported that he became upset while waiting in line for the standard medical examination at a local hospital.
When Foster was told that he needed to be patient and would not be allowed to cut the line, he threatened a hospital employee according to the report. Williams was at the hospital at the same time, but did not witness the incident.
“It was very surprising and disappointing,” Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen said. “It happens.”
Foster already had a red flag because of a rotator cuff injury and was not going to participate in any drills at the Combine.
Williams and defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson defended Foster’s character, saying they enjoyed having him as a teammate at Alabama.
“Reuben’s one of those guys that’s hardworking, humble and respectful,” Tomlinson said. “He’s just a well-liked guy across the board.”
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