With the New York Giants' Michael Strahan and Green Bay's Aaron Kampman just around the corner, the Detroit Lions better hope that the issues plaguing them at the right tackle position are rectified quickly.
And hope might be all they're left with.
When the Lions acquired Foster from Denver via trade, they hoped they had solidified their right tackle position. Foster had spent four years with one of the best running teams in the NFL.
But Foster is a huge issue heading into Sunday's game against the Giants. He has struggled badly, but the Lions have no immediate options to replace him. So he will have to figure things out while trying to block one of the better sack-masters in the game in the veteran Strahan.
Foster has taken nine false-start penalties this season, most in the NFL. He took two in Sunday's 31-21 loss at Arizona, and after one of them, quarterback Jon Kitna lost his cool and yelled at him.
"I think we were all a little frustrated at that point," Kitna said. "I was mad. We get mad at each other when we make mistakes. They got mad at me when I threw an interception."
Foster struggled with false starts early in the season, especially on the road. He was benched twice. He cleaned up the problem later, but he was still missing blocking assignments. Partly because of that, partly because of an ankle problem, Foster didn't start Nov. 4 against his former team, the Broncos.
"As far as the effort he gives, the intensity, he's what you want," offensive line coach Jim Colletto said. "We've got to cut down on some mistakes from an execution standpoint."
Jonathan Scott suffered a broken thumb against the Broncos, however, and Foster went back in. Scott had surgery and sat out at Arizona, so Foster started.
There has been some confusion over Scott's injury. At first, Scott guessed he would miss two to three weeks. Then, coach Rod Marinelli said Scott would miss only the Cardinals game.
"Honestly it's about a week," Marinelli said Friday. "Now it's just pain."
Marinelli said Scott could play with a cast.
"O-lineman, you don't need a whole lot of thumb there," Marinelli said. "I think he'll be fine."
Now, Scott has gone to visit his surgeon to see how quickly he can come back, and Marinelli said Scott probably would not be able to play against the Giants.
"For this game, I'm 90 percent sure," Marinelli said. "I hate to tell you 100 percent and (then have) him come back. But it's very doubtful."
If Scott misses the next two games, Foster will have to block Strahan and Green Bay's Aaron Kampman in a five-day span.
"I think it's going to be up to me," Foster said. "Just continue to work, put in extra work with coaches and whatnot, being more of a student of this system. It can only get better from here."
Individual Player Notes