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Posts tagged with "Foster"

New England Patriots running back D.J. Foster speaks with members of the media in the team’s locker room before an NFL football practice, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

TEMPE, Ariz. – The hometown kid is back.

One of the state’s most dominant high school football players who remained in-state to play his college ball, running back D.J. Foster now looks to make his mark on the team he grew up watching, the Arizona Cardinals.

A day after being signed off of New England’s practice squad, Foster found himself in a Cardinals uniform going through his first practice.

“It means a lot. It was great putting on that jersey,” he said Wednesday. “This is the team that I watched. Being a local guy, this is who I tuned in to watch every week. It’s definitely a blessing to be apart of this organization. I just want to come out here and work hard and help.”

The large smile across his face said it all.

After breaking nearly a half dozen state rushing records at Scottsdale Saguaro High School, including touchdowns in a game (10) and in a single season (60), Foster went on to excel at Arizona State, where he gained at least 1,000 yards from scrimmage in each of his first three seasons.

Foster, however, went undrafted in 2016. He joined New England as a rookie free agent, picking the Patriots over the Cardinals and Texans.

In his first season, Foster appeared in three games, carrying the ball seven times for 24 yards and catching one pass for two yards.

“I enjoyed my time there,” he said. “I have nothing but respect for that organization. They taught me so much and gave me a foundation.”

Becoming a Cardinal “happened fast,” according to Foster, who said his agent called him and “within an hour I was on my way to the airport. I was excited. I’m definitely happy to be here and go to work.”

The Cardinals added Foster, 23, plus welcomed back veteran running back Chris Johnson this week to help soften the blow of losing David Johnson, who is expected to miss as many as three months after dislocating his left wrist in Week 1.

The Cardinals now have five running backs on the roster.

It may be too much to expect Foster to be active this week against Indianapolis, though head coach Bruce Arians called Foster “a pretty quick learner.”

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While wide receiver Devin Lucien’s rookie season was spent on the practice squad in Foxborough, there’s reason to wonder where the 2016 seventh-round pick will spend his second.

Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Malcolm Mitchell wasn’t the only wide receiver drafted by the New England Patriots a year ago.

It will be up to Devin Lucien to remind the organization of that as training camp begins Thursday.

At this juncture, it’d be easy to forget New England’s war room selected Lucien three rounds and 113 spots after Mitchell last spring. It’d be easy to call the late-bloomer by way of UCLA and Arizona State as much of an afterthought then as he is now.

In a nine-man Patriots draft class, Lucien was the ninth man. On a 90-man roster, he was the lesser-discussed Sun Devil behind undrafted running back D.J. Foster.

Lucien cannot afford to stay out of the discussion this summer. There’s little room for anonymity on a wideout depth chart headlined by Mitchell, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola and trade acquisition Brandin Cooks. There may be no room at all.

If the 24-year-old hangs around for 2017, it’ll likely take a rise out of nowhere.

Though for Lucien, it wouldn’t be the first time.

After catching just 58 passes for 752 yards and four touchdowns through four years at UCLA, the Pac-12 veteran went on to reel in 66 passes for 1,075 yards and eight touchdowns as an Arizona State graduate transfer in 2015.

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