We are awaiting word about the extent of the apparent knee injury that Pittsburgh Steelers left guard Ramon Foster suffered earlier today in practice, but the initial impression is that it could be serious. The 10th-year veteran was carted off the practice field, and at least temporarily opens up a hole in the offensive line.
“Ramon Foster went down with a lower body injury, he’s being evaluated”, Head Coach Mike Tomlin said immediately after practice. “Any further definitive information, I’ll share that with you”. He said that he did not see the injury occur personally. It happened early in 11-on-11 drills in the first padded practice of the year.
“Ramon’s been doing this for a long time and doing it at a high level. He’s a core member of the group, obviously”, Tomlin continued. Foster was originally signed as a college free agent in 2009 and made the team as a rookie, remaining here since. He entered the starting lineup on a full-time basis at left guard in 2013 and has locked down the position since. He has tallied over 100 career starts and well over that in total games over the course of his career.
“Guys, you know my attitude regarding injury. Unfortunately it’s a part of the game”, Tomlin said in response to a question about the difficulty of losing starter to injury, clearly having his patience tried by the obvious. “I’m not going to speculate, I’m simply gonna make necessary adjustments accordingly. And more importantly than that, work our tails off to make sure that we’re making this as safe as we can for them through this process”.
Third-year veteran interior lineman B.J. Finney was the man who stepped in to replace Foster when he suffered his injury earlier today, and he will remain in that role until or unless the starter is able to return. Finney has made five starts at left guard over the course of the past two years and played well when given the opportunity.
After Tomlin described Foster as a core player, he was asked if Finney has the makings of one as well. “He’s proven that over the past couple of years when given the opportunity to play”, he said.
We still don’t know right now the specific nature and severity of Foster’s injury, and might not know before the end of the day, but he could potentially be looking at a season-ending situation in the worst-case scenario.
That would be unique in his playing history. While he has had some minor ailments that have kept him out for a couple of games here and there, particularly in recent years, the veteran has been a rock for the unit.
Both on and off the field, Foster is absolutely a core member of not just the offensive line, but the team as a whole. He also serves at the Steelers’ player representative for the NFLPA, and is one of the primary mouthpieces for the locker room to the media.