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Report: Ahmad Brooks asked out of game, didn’t want to split time

San Francisco 49ers v New Orleans Saints

San Francisco 49ers v New Orleans Saints

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On Sunday afternoon, the 49ers outlasted the Giants 16-10 with Aaron Lynch and Aldon Smith playing outside linebacker in the second half of the game.

Ahmad Brooks had been the starter at the position, but he stopped seeing the field once the Niners started giving time to Smith in his first game back from a nine-game suspension. After the game, coach Jim Harbaugh said that the team has “something we’re working through” to explain why Brooks was out.

Brooks said something similar and Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports reports that the issue they are working through is Brooks’ preference not to split time with Lynch and Smith. Per Garafolo, Brooks “believed he should be playing every snap and didn’t care to be part of a rotation” so he spent the rest of the day as an observer.

Harbaugh also said that he thinks the 49ers need Brooks to win a championship, but adherence to a refusal to be part of a rotation won’t leave much playing time since Lynch has been productive and Smith needs playing time to get back to full speed after such an extended layoff. Cooler heads may prevail before the 49ers return to the field next Sunday.