San Francisco 49ers

Brooks’ down year gets worse for 49ers

Ahmad Brooks
Ahmad Brooks AP

Ahmad Brooks’ long streak of consecutive starts ended ignominiously Sunday when he was banished to the sideline and did not play, his punishment for missing a mid-week meeting.

The 49ers’ most recent game was on a Thursday and the team practiced the following Monday. Brooks said he thought the players would get Tuesday off, but they didn’t. There was a meeting about domestic violence that day with offensive and defensive meetings before that.

Still, Brooks figured he would play against the Raiders.

“I’m not here to point fingers,” he said. “But I’m not the only one who’s ever missed anything. Of course, there have been other people that missed or that were late. But I’m not going to point fingers. I own up to my responsibilities. I wasn’t there. It is what it is.”

Brooks became a starter when defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and the rest of his staff were hired in 2011, and he hadn’t missed a start since.

However, he hasn’t been on solid footing with his coaches recently. He reported to training camp overweight and last month got into a sideline spat with defensive line coach Jim Tomsula when he was taken out of a game against the New York Giants. His actions led to him being benched for the second half of that contest.

Before that, a national report said the 49ers tried to trade Brooks in October, which is likely given Brooks’ so-so season, the 49ers’ growing faith in rookie Aaron Lynch, and Brooks’ soaring salary-cap figure in coming years.

Asked if he figured this was his last season in San Francisco, Brooks said he didn’t know.

“You never know,” he said. “My destiny is in God’s hands. So whatever happens, whatever he decides for me to do, that’s what I’ll be doing.”

Dan Skuta started the game at left outside linebacker with Lynch entering on passing downs. Brooks said he should have known he would not play when his practice snaps were curtailed, but that he didn’t agree with the coaches’ decision.

“No, I do not agree,” he said. “But I’m just a player, I’m just a number. You know what I mean?”

Injuries – Coach Jim Harbaugh said he thought Chris Culliver would be “OK” after the starting cornerback was carted off the field because of a knee injury in the second quarter.

Culliver tore the ACL in the same knee during the 2013 training camp and did not play that season. Culliver’s injury Sunday left the 49ers with just three healthy cornerbacks, including one, Leon McFadden, who was on the practice squad at the beginning of the season.

Tramaine Brock, who started the team’s opening game in Dallas, missed his 10th game of the season. Brock suffered turf toe in Week 1 against the Cowboys. He strained his hamstring when he returned from that injury and has not gone through a full week of practice since.

With Culliver out, Perrish Cox and rookie Dontae Johnson took over as the cornerbacks. McFadden entered the game in passing situations with Johnson sliding inside to the nickel cornerback spot.

Offensive linemen Mike Iupati (elbow) and Marcus Martin (knee) also were injured. Iupati returned to the game; Martin did not.

“We’ll have to wait and see,” Harbaugh said when asked about Martin, the team’s rookie center. “He was walking after the game, but I don’t know the extent of the injury.”

Et cetera – Harbaugh insisted he didn’t call a timeout after a second-quarter touchdown by Raiders offensive tackle Donald Penn. He said he was asking the side judge whether Penn was an eligible receiver on the play and the officials thought he was signaling for a timeout.

The timeout was not given back to the 49ers, and they began an end-of-half drive with just one remaining.

▪ Wide receiver Quinton Patton was active for the first time this season. He played extensively late in the game but was targeted only once and that throw fell incomplete. Fellow receiver Brandon Lloyd, who has been dealing with a strained quadriceps, was inactive.

▪ Harbaugh and Raiders owner Mark Davis were observed chatting before the game. Harbaugh got to know Davis during Harbaugh’s stint as an assistant coach in Oakland from 2002-03.

Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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