Robert Foster returned to the NFL on Tuesday, when the Indianapolis Colts announced they had signed the former Alabama wide receiver for their practice squad.
The Colts added Foster to the practice squad after promoting tight end Nikola Kalinic to the active roster. A spot on the 53-player active roster opened when Indianapolis released wide receiver Keke Coutee, who had been used almost exclusively as a punt returner.
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Members of the practice squad do what the members of the active roster do except play in games. But each week, each NFL team can elevate two practice-squad players to active status.
Foster had been out of football since Nov. 29, when the New York Giants released him from their practice squad. Foster worked out for the Colts on Monday.
Foster has 32 receptions for 642 yards with three touchdowns and 29 yards on two rushing attempts in 30 NFL regular-season games.
Foster has not played in an NFL game since Jan. 9, 2021, when he appeared in a postseason contest with the Washington Football Team.
Foster spent the 2021 season on the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad without appearing in a game.
Just as he did at training camp in 2021, when he got hurt with the Miami Dolphins and landed on injured reserve for five days before getting released, Foster got hurt in training camp with the Giants and spent six days on IR before being released on Aug. 25. New York brought him back for the practice squad on Oct. 10.
Two other players with Alabama football roots appeared on Tuesday’s NFL transactions report.
The Philadelphia Eagles placed punter Arryn Siposs (Auburn) on injured reserve. Siposs suffered an ankle injury while running with the football after he’d had a punt blocked by the Giants on Sunday.
Siposs will miss at least the remainder of the regular season. Players on injured reserve are required to miss at least four games, and the Eagles have four games remaining on their regular-season schedule.
Philadelphia signed Brett Kern to handle its punting and holding duties.
The Carolina Panthers signed cornerback Tae Hayes (Decatur) for their practice squad. Hayes has played in five games this season for Carolina, which had released the former Birmingham Stallions DB on Saturday.
Foster entered the NFL without the benefit of being drafted, but he still made the Bills’ regular-season roster to open the 2018 campaign.
Six games into his rookie season, Foster had two catches for 30 yards and went to the practice squad. Buffalo brought Foster back to the active roster for the 10th game, and he broke the Bills’ 19-game drought without a 100-yard receiver with 105 yards on three receptions in a 41-10 victory over the New York Jets. Foster had two more 100-yard games in 2018. He averaged 20.04 yards on his 27 receptions, good for 541 yards and three touchdowns.
But in an improved receiving corps, Foster played less than half the offensive snaps in 2019 that he did in 2018 for Buffalo, although he became a bigger factor on special teams. Foster had three receptions for 64 yards in 2019.
The Bills waived Foster at the end of training camp in 2020, and he caught on with the Green Bay Packers’ practice squad.
Washington signed Foster on Oct. 22, 2020, and he caught two passes for 37 yards while playing 27 offensive snaps and 49 special-teams plays in four games in the regular season.
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Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @AMarkG1.
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