The focus before Week 15 should’ve been on the Redskins’ slim playoff chances and how they could keep those chances alive by beating Jacksonville.
But instead, much of the talk at Redskins Park revolved around Mason Foster and some leaked Instagram messages in which Foster’s account slammed the team, the fans and also used a handful of slurs.
Here’s a full timeline of the controversy, starting from the initial leaks and running up through Foster’s Friday apology.
Tuesday night – The messages become public
Tuesday is the quietest day for the Redskins in a typical game week, as it’s sandwiched between Monday’s rehashing of the previous contest and Wednesday’s practice that starts preparation for the upcoming matchup.
This Tuesday wasn’t quiet, though.
In the evening, screengrabs of an exchange between Foster’s Instagram account and another user surfaced, in which Foster’s account wrote in part, “F— this team and this fanbase.”
Questions began swirling about the authenticity of the screengrabs and what pushed Foster to write such things. There was no question, however, about what the main story at Wednesday’s practice would be.
Wednesday – Jay Gruden and teammates react
The first question Jay Gruden faced at the podium in Ashburn had to do with Foster, not the Jaguars or the new QB he was trying to work into his offense. The head coach responded by saying he didn’t really care about the comments.
“I know what Mason is,” Gruden said. “I know what he means to this football team, what he’s meant to this football team and anything he said in a personal message was personal and I don’t really take anything from it.”
Foster teammates defended the linebacker, too.
“All I know is what I see from him every day, and I have nothing but good things to say about him,” Jonathan Allen said.
“We all have moments where we’re frustrated and stressed,” added Vernon Davis.
Wednesday night – More messages come out and Foster’s cousin takes responsibility for most
After the hectic day at the park, Foster’s cousin took to Twitter to take responsibility for additional messages that leaked, ones where Foster’s account uses slurs and other aggressive language.
The cousin says Foster himself meant to send the first messages (the ones where he criticizes the Redskins and their fans) to a private group but got mixed up.
“Those who know Mason know he did not send those messages,” the cousin said in his tweet.
Friday – Foster apologizes
After not speaking to the media on Wednesday or Thursday, Foster stood at his locker and finally answered questions about the entire incident. He apologized at times and placed blame for the later messages on his cousin, too.
“People know I love the fans,” he said.
Now, it’s up to every fan and individual who’s followed this controversy to make up their own mind. Do you buy Foster’s explanation? Are you upset at him or ready to move on?
And so concludes another wild week with the Burgundy and Gold, an NFL team that’s just as interesting Monday-Saturday as it is on Sundays.