Reuben Foster has been with the Washington Football Team for over a year and a half, but on Friday he conducted his first extensive interview with reporters via Zoom. There was plenty to talk about: his past, his future, his issues with the law and then of course the injury that almost cost him his career. Foster said "it was real scary" to come close to losing it all like he had multiple times, but now is just focused on his No. 1 priority: football. 

Just 10 minutes into OTAs last year, Foster went down holding his leg and had to be carted off the field. He suffered a torn ACL, LCL and other additional damage. It was an injury that cost him the entire 2019 season -- and many thought his career as well. Instead, he made what was a miraculous recovery. Team senior vice president Julie Donaldson said she was told that Foster's ability to move after the kind of injury he suffered is "phenomenal," and he has been very engaged in player meetings. After he was removed from the PUP list earlier this week, Foster finally returned to the practice field for the first time since his freak injury.

Foster told reporters that he couldn't help focusing on his leg and even had thoughts creep into his psyche that he would never be the same player again. Overall, he understands that it will take some time to get his on-field confidence back.

"It's kind of nerve-racking, but I am just happy to be on the field with the guys again," Foster said. "I was focusing on my leg and focusing on my first day of practice, really, and I was happy -- I was happy about it. But I was focusing on my leg like, 'Dang, am I the same again? Will I ever be the same?' Or, 'Would I ever be that type of caliber guy?' But I don't think (about it) to the point that it would stop by play style. I just got to get confidence out there." 

Foster said he still feels as though he's a "thumper" and a hard-hitting inside linebacker. He knows he has to be patient in learning a new defense, but also believes the time for "baby steps" is over. Now healthy, he's ready to accept any challenge -- physical or mental. 

The past couple of years have been challenging for Foster on and off the field. The former first-round pick was released by the San Francisco 49ers after multiple arrests and accused of domestic violence by an ex-girlfriend. Foster was asked several times about his legal issues on Friday, but simply responded saying that he had put that part of his life behind him and is just focused on the future. He did say that he learned a lot during his recent trials, but his passion for the game of football was always there. 

"I've been out for two years, and it's kind of hard. It's hard. I only know the pain. And certain people know the injuries I've been through, but I have to just keep pushing forward," Foster said. "I've learned a lot. Just being humble, vulnerable. Understanding for a lot of things of life. A real understanding of life. It's stuff that I can't really explain. It's hard to explain. I just know that my drive to get back on the field was insane."

Foster is now tasked with impressing yet another coaching staff, and proving that he has recovered enough to make an impact on this defensive unit. He already has had a conversation about where he stands with new head coach Ron Rivera, and claims there is a mutual sense of trust between the two of them. Foster has been out of the game for almost two years now, and for him, that's almost two years too long.