WR Robert Foster Out ‘For A While’ With Shoulder Injury
Alabama wide receiver Robert Foster is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury suffered in last Saturday’s loss against Ole Miss, coach Nick Saban said Monday.
The sophomore was injured when he landed hard on his right shoulder on a deep ball thrown into the end zone by quarterback Jake Coker with 4:01 left in the half. As he walked off the field alongside team trainers, Foster was noticeably favoring the injured shoulder.
Foster, who did not return to the game, came back to the sideline at the start of the second half with his right arm in a sling. Saban said Foster has since had surgery on the injury.
“Unless he has a miraculous recovery, he's going to be out for a while, a good while,” said Saban, who wouldn’t specify an exact injury timetable.
On Sunday, AL.com reported that the shoulder injury was a torn rotator cuff that would require Foster to miss the rest of the season.
Freshman Calvin Ridley, who Saban said filled Foster’s spot after the injury, noting he has done a “really nice job.” Ridley had six catches for 28 yards against Ole Miss and is second on the team in receptions with 13 through three games.
Cam Sims, who has since returned to action from a torn ACL sustained in the spring but is still not yet at full strength, could also help have an increased role in the offense, according to Saban.
“We're going to give lots of opportunity to lots of guys, but it's going to be some young players, who are going to get the opportunities,” Saban said.
Foster, a sophomore from Monaca, Pennsylvania, was named a starter ahead of Alabama’s season opener after redshirting in 2013 and playing sparingly last season in a reserve role.
Through three games this season, the former five-star prospect has 10 receptions for 106 yards and two touchdowns. His two scores tie him with Richard Mullaney for the team lead.
On the play Foster was injured, Rebels defensive back Kendarius Webster batted away the pass at the last second, preventing the sophomore wideout from scoring on the would-be 43-yard touchdown.
Alabama later scored on that same drive when Coker found Mullaney for a 9-yard score to cut the lead to 17-10 before the half.
Saban also mentioned Monday that long snapper Cole Mazza is out indefinitely for “medical reasons.”
Mazza, a junior, was suspended in last Saturday’s 43-37 loss versus Ole Miss, with senior walk-on Alex Harrelson stepping in to fill his spot.
Mazza has served as the team's starter at the position since his freshman season in 2013.
“When he can return, he'll be back on the team,” Saban said.
In the week leading up to Alabama’s season opener against Wisconsin, punter JK Scott had high praise for the Bakersfield, California native.
“He's the best in the country, hands down,” Scott said. “Cole helped me so much this season. And every time I get a perfect snap, that sets me up for a good punt. If I get a perfect snap, if I don't have to move out of the way or do anything, if it's quick enough and I don't have to speed up, I have the perfect opportunity to be successful.
“Cole has like saved my life out there every day. We have a great relationship. We have meetings together, we go out to practice together. We're always together, all the specialists, so we have a good relationship. We joke around. It's pretty fun.”