Coach Jim Tomsula on Saturday said he expects linebacker Ahmad Brooks, who was charged last month with misdemeanor sexual battery, to play when the 49ers host the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1.
Brooks had been removed from the squad since the charge was announced Aug. 26, but Tomsula said he will be back when the team meets Monday.
The change in approach is related to the NFL’s decision not to put Brooks on the commissioner’s “exempt list,” which essentially would have placed Brooks, a starter at outside linebacker, on paid leave. The NFL said that based on its initial investigation of the matter, placing Brooks on the list was “not warranted.”
“Our review will continue during the legal proceedings and we will examine all available information from the court under the personal conduct policy,” the league said in a statement.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Had Brooks gone on the exempt list, he would not have counted against the team’s 53-man roster while his case is being adjudicated and he wouldn’t have been able to play or practice with the team, but he would have continued to earn his base salary.
The NFL said that based on its initial investigation of Ahmad Brooks’ legal matter, placing him on the exempt list was “not warranted.”
The league did not decide on any punishment for 49ers fullback Bruce Miller, who pleaded no contest earlier this year for destroying his ex-fiancée’s cellphone. Miller met with a league official about the matter Aug. 26.
The 49ers were practicing outside Denver when the team learned Brooks had been charged in an incident relating to a gathering at then-teammate Ray McDonald’s home in December at which a woman slipped on a pool decking.
A civil suit filed by the woman in May alleged Brooks “groped her person in a sexual manner” when she was unconscious after hitting her head. She claimed video surveillance supports the accusation. She also alleged McDonald then carried her to his bedroom and had sex with her without her consent. McDonald was indicted last month on one count of rape of an intoxicated person.
If Brooks plays against the Vikings on Sept. 14, he likely would start at right outside linebacker with Aaron Lynch on the left side.
Et cetera – The 49ers began the day by acquiring center Nick Easton in a trade with the Ravens. Easton is an undrafted rookie who played at Harvard. The 49ers sent a conditional draft pick to Baltimore in return.
He’s just got to have that thing checked. It’s not quite right yet.
Coach Jim Tomsula on running back Kendall Hunter, who went on season-ending injured reserve as he continues recovering from an ACL injury
The 49ers reached the 53-man limit partly by placing two players, running back Kendall Hunter and rookie tight end Busta Anderson, on injured reserve. Anderson, a seventh-round pick, hurt his ankle Thursday, Tomsula said. Hunter is still coming back from an ACL injury suffered last year. “He’s just got to have that thing checked,” Tomsula said of Hunter. “It’s not quite right yet.”
▪ Three of the five cornerbacks on the 53-man roster were drafted last year: Kenneth Acker, Dontae Johnson and Keith Reaser. The other two are veterans Tramaine Brock and Shareece Wright.
▪ As expected, wide receiver Jerome Simpson was placed on the reserve/suspended list. He will sit out at least the first six games of the season for a previous violation of the league’s substance abuse program.