SAN JOSE, Calif. — San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster has been charged with felony domestic violence after being accused of dragging his girlfriend and punching her in the head, leaving her with a ruptured eardrum, authorities said.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney charged Foster on Thursday, when he was also arraigned in San Jose. A judge ordered him not to have any contact with his girlfriend.
Foster was accompanied to court by 49ers teammate Richard Sherman. He did not enter a plea and was released after posting $75,000 bail.
He declined to answer media questions outside court, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Prosecutors said the 24-year-old Foster attacked his girlfriend in February at their Los Gatos home, leaving her bruised and with an injured eardrum.
The 28-year-old woman told responding officers that Foster dragged her by her hair, physically threw her out of the house, and punched her in the head eight to 10 times.
Foster was also charged with felony possession of an assault weapon and misdemeanor possession of a high-capacity magazine after officers found a Sig Sauer 516 short-barreled rifle in his home while investigating his girlfriend's domestic violence report.
If convicted on all charges, He faces up to 11 years in prison.
The 49ers drafted Foster 31st overall last year after questions about his health and character caused him to drop from being a possible top 10 pick.
Foster delivered on the field, ranking second on the team with 72 tackles in 10 games as a rookie and looking like a key part of San Francisco's defensive future.
Foster then was charged in January in Alabama with second-degree marijuana possession before the incident in February that led to the most recent charges.
Foster could face discipline from the league for both infractions.
"We continue to monitor all developments in this matter which is under review of the personal conduct policy," the NFL said in a statement.
The 49ers called the domestic violence charges against Foster disturbing.
"We will continue to follow this serious matter," the team said in a release. "Reuben is aware that his place in our organization is under great scrutiny and will depend on what is learned through the legal process."