SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Ahmad Brooks was taken out of Sunday's 16-10 win over the Giants because of words he had with defensive line coach Jim Tomsula, the outside linebacker said Wednesday in a clear-the-air session with reporters.
"It was an emotional reaction during a game," Brooks said. "I reacted out my character. I did not quit on the team. I did not take myself out of the game, but words that were said by me obviously couldn’t be taken back. So they decided to not put me back in the game."
Brooks said he apologized to Tomsula and plans on playing Sunday against Washington, as Jim Harbaugh indicated the second-team All-Pro would Monday.
"Emotions played into it when it when it shouldn’t. We got to overcome something like that," Harbaugh said Wednesday. "But, I trust Ahmad Brooks, believe in Ahmad Brooks, know he’s going to make vital contribution to our team, as he always had."
Apparently unhappy with the new rotation at outside linebacker with Aldon Smith back from his nine-game suspension, Brooks had words with Tomsula and was not re-inserted into the game after Smith entered in the second quarter. Brooks was fined for an undisclosed amount, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
"You’re not always going to be on the same page with your co-workers. This is one of those instances. It happened on that day during that game," said Brooks. "It happened to me so I sent my apologies to the team and we’re just moving forward. We’ve still got six games left. We’ve still got the team to make it to the Super Bowl."
As he typically does, Harbaugh sided with his player publicly and would not divulge any details regarding the incident and what was said on the sideline, or in Brooks' apology to Tomsula.
In fact, Harbaugh went as far as to praise Brooks for his contributions to the team since Brooks became a starter in Harbaugh's first season as head coach in 2011.
"The cold hard facts are that are that, the last 58 games, he’s started the last 58 games," Harbaugh said. "Nobody has answered the bell more than Ahmad Brooks has for this football team. Certainly nobody in this room can say they’ve done that."
Harbaugh declined to comment again Wednesday about the report of the 49ers being close to trading Brooks to the Cleveland Browns last month before the trade deadline.
Brooks is slated to be San Francisco's third-highest cap number next year making upwards of $9 million. He may be playing elsewhere in 2015 if he is not willing to shrink his salary significantly.
Rookie fifth-round pick Aaron Lynch has played well in recent weeks, notching three sacks in the last four games. He led San Francisco with 10 quarterback pressures (nine hurries, one sack) in Sunday's game with Brooks on the sideline, contributing to Eli Manning's five-interception performance. Lynch, on his rookie contract, is set to count for $559,000 against the salary cap next season.
"I’ve seen (the trade rumors) on Twitter," Brooks said. "And this is one of the reasons why I don’t get on the computer and look for these things because there’s always a story on something. I’m not going to pout about it, I’m not going to cry about it. But it is my job, it is my career. If i don’t speak about it, then nobody’s going to speak for me."
Brooks leads the 49ers with four sacks, and was just a week removed from making one of the most important plays in his team's win over the Saints. He strip-sacked Drew Brees leading to the game-winning field goal in overtime.
"Who I am as a person, as a football player, I expect to play. That’s just who I am. I expect to play, I expect to be out there. That’s it. That’s that," said Brooks.