Jay Gruden: Redskins Have to 'Deal with Outcry' over Signing Reuben Foster

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistNovember 28, 2018

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 11: Head coach Jay Gruden of the Washington Redskins on the sidelines during a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on November 21, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. The Redskins defaeted the Buccaneers 16 to 3. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Washington head coach Jay Gruden acknowledged the criticism his team has received for bringing aboard Reuben Foster after the linebacker was arrested Saturday and charged with first-degree misdemeanor domestic violence battery.

"At the end of the day we made the decision and will have to deal with the outcry," Gruden said while noting Foster isn't guaranteed to play, per Les Carpenter of the Washington Post. He also called it a team-wide decision to add the linebacker, per Carpenter.

The San Francisco 49ers announced they released Foster on Sunday shortly after he was arrested at the team hotel in Tampa, Florida.

Washington claimed him off waivers a mere two days later and released a statement from senior vice president of player personnel Doug Williams that read, in part, "the Redskins fully understand the severity of the recent allegations made against Reuben. If true, you can be sure these allegations are nothing our organization would ever condone." 

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Washington was the only team in the entire league to actually put in a claim for Foster.

John Keim of ESPN.com noted he was placed on the commissioner's exempt list, which prevents him from playing in games or practicing while the NFL investigates the situation. Keim also pointed out Washington said it discussed Foster with some of his former Alabama teammates who play for the team.

However, defensive back Ha Ha Clinton-Dix told Carpenter he was not consulted prior to the waiver claim. What's more, Carpenter noted defensive end Jonathan Allen also said he did not talk to anyone in the front office despite the team's statement suggesting it had discussed the matter with former collegiate teammates.

Evan Sernoffsky, Eric Branch and Steve Rubenstein of the San Francisco Chronicle cited police who said, "Foster slapped her phone out of her hand, pushed her in the chest area, and slapped her with an open hand on the left side of her face … Officers observed a 1-inch scratch on the victim's left collarbone," when talking about Foster, Elissa Ennis and the Saturday arrest.

The report cited a source close to Ennis' family who said she was diagnosed with a concussion.

It also detailed the history of domestic incidents in Foster's past with Ennis. Police were called to his apartment in October for a domestic disturbance following reports of a loud argument, although no injuries were observed. Ennis also alleged he struck her in February, although those domestic violence charges were dropped in May when she recanted the allegations.

While those charges were dropped, he was given 232 hours of community service and two years of probation stemming from a misdemeanor weapons charge when police found a loaded gun during the February arrest.

He was suspended the first two games of the 2018 season.

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