ARNIE STAPLETON, AP Pro Football Writer
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — If linebacker Reuben Foster is worried that he hurt his draft stock by getting kicked out of the NFL’s scouting combine he isn’t showing it.
The former Alabama star posted a live video on Instagram on Saturday, but he demurred when fans asked about him getting sent home allegedly for getting into a heated confrontation with a hospital worker over his long wait time.
“Y’all, stop asking me what happened, for real,” Foster said on the video, according to AL.com. “Nothing happened.”
Then, Foster, the 2016 Butkus Award winner and a potential top-10 pick, deflected questions to his Crimson Tide teammates who were with him at the combine.
“Talk to Tim” Foster said in reference to Tim Williams, a defensive end who was at the Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital at the same time. “Talk to Ryan (Anderson). Talk to Dalvin (Tomlinson). Them boys know. They were there.”
Williams said he was in a different group and couldn’t say exactly what happened.
“We were all waiting for our names to be called. He was with the linebackers and I was with all of the D-line,” Williams said. “I was in a different room.”
Pass rusher Ryan Anderson could only say that there was quite a logjam of prospects at the hospital, so much so that he, himself, missed a scheduled interview with the Miami Dolphins on Friday night.
“That was frustrating to me,” Anderson said. “But you have to do what you have to do. That’s all part of this process.”
Defensive tackle Jonathan Allen, another former Alabama star, shed no light on the incident with Foster, either.
“I just found out today,” he said. “It’s very surprising, disappointing. But hey, it happens.”
In his video chat, Foster also addressed the recent surgery on his right rotator cuff that took him out of physical drills at the combine. He said he’d be out of the sling in a week.
“Everything ain’t perfect,” Foster said. “I’m good. I just have to think. I just had to sit back and relax and think about what I really want.”
The surgery was going to prevent Foster from any on-field drills in Indianapolis anyway, but teams still wanted to get the medical reports on him and have a chance to interview him.
NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said he didn’t think the incident would hurt Foster’s stock , however.
“Unless it becomes more than what we’ve heard, I don’t think it’s really going to impact him,” Mayock said.
Mayock also said Foster’s situation didn’t adversely affect his former college teammates during their drill work Saturday.
“You feel bad for the kid and then you go on and perform,” Mayock said. “It’s one thing if you’re missing him in a game. There’s a tangible problem. But I think they just feel empathy and move on.”
Williams said he didn’t think Foster should fret over falling in the draft, either.
“He’s going to have his opportunity to tell his story. Every man’s got his opportunity say his piece,” Williams said. “He’s going to have questions he has to answer so I can’t answer that for him because I really don’t know what happened.”
Former teammate Dalvin Tomlinson, a defensive tackle, said he planned to call Foster this weekend to get the story on what went on at the hospital.
“I was shocked across the board. I don’t know the real story. A lot of people have different stories. I just want to talk to Reuben and get the real story of what happened,” Tomlinson said.
“I feel like if you get the whole perspective from both sides and see what really happened I feel like it won’t affect him too much” come the April 27 draft, Tomlinson added.
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