Ahmad Brooks' 60-game starting streak with the San Francisco 49ers ended last week for disciplinary reasons, but he could be back in the starting lineup Sunday at the Seattle Seahawks, Niners defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said Thursday.
“I think he will,” Fangio said, “provided he keeps practicing like he did yesterday.”
Fangio said Brooks not only missed a meeting last Tuesday (Brooks acknowledged his absence, saying he was confused with that week’s schedule after the Thanksgiving game the previous week) but was also 20 minutes late to a meeting on Wednesday.
“On top of what happened in New York (when Brooks was benched after a sideline dispute with assistant Jim Tomsula), it was just time to not start him and take drastic measures,” Fangio said. “I told him he wouldn’t start on Wednesday; he knew that.
“And last week was not a good week of practice for him after that happened. So, that’s when I basically decided he wouldn’t play very much unless we needed him.”
Brooks was one of two active 49ers who did not play at all in the 49ers’ 24-13 loss to the Oakland Raiders, along with backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert. Brooks said after the game he was not told he would not play and did not agree with his benching.
“I’m just a player,” he said at the time, “a number.”
Still, Fangio said Brooks, who is tied with Justin Smith and Aaron Lynch for the team lead with five sacks, has worked through it.
“We talked on Tuesday and he’s fine,” Fangio said. “Had a good day of practice yesterday and I expect him to be fine.”