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Tomsula says linebacker Ahmad Brooks won't return to 49ers practice this week with legal issue

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SAN FRANCISCO — Outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks will not practice this coming week with the San Francisco 49ers, who sent him away from the team after he was charged with misdemeanor sexual battery Wednesday.

Coach Jim Tomsula said Sunday there was no change in Brooks' status.

"That's day to day. I have not been updated on that at all, so it's exactly where it is," Tomsula said, adding that Brooks would not practice.

The team sent him home Thursday morning from Colorado, where the 49ers held a pair of joint practices with the Broncos before playing a preseason game against Denver on Saturday night.

General manager Trent Baalke said he wasn't sure how long the expulsion would last or whether it would be permanent. Corey Lemonier, Aaron Lynch and Eli Harold — draft picks in each of the past three years, respectively — will be called upon to handle more responsibility immediately.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office charged Brooks for an alleged assault on Dec. 15 at the home of former teammate Ray McDonald, who on Wednesday was indicted by a grand jury for rape of an intoxicated person involving the same victim. An arraignment had yet to be scheduled.

The NFL could decide to suspend Brooks or place him on the commissioner's exempt list.

PHOTO: San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Tomsula watches quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) warm up for an NFL preseason football game against the Denver Broncos, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)
San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Tomsula watches quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) warm up for an NFL preseason football game against the Denver Broncos, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

"Now it's in their hands to make a decision based on the personal-conduct policy," Baalke said in Colorado.

Brooks said last week he was in great shape following an offseason of intense pilates classes in 110-degree room and determined to have a big season. He had been slated to start at right outside linebacker where Aldon Smith — suspended the first nine games last season for violations of the league's substance-abuse policy — had been one of the league's most fearsome pass rushers until his release Aug. 7 for his own rash of legal issues.

49ers CEO Jed York has vowed to stop all the off-field issues.

"Our mission is very simple: the San Francisco 49ers win with class," he said in late December after parting ways with former coach Jim Harbaugh. "We haven't won, and I don't think we've conducted ourselves with the level of class that I expect of our organization. We've had off-the-field issues. That's going to happen in sports. The level that it's happened here is not unacceptable."

Also Sunday, Tomsula said he and his coaches have determined their starting offensive line combination but waited to reveal it publicly until he speaks to players when they return to work Monday.

Without saying whether former Australian rugby league star Jarryd Hayne would earn a spot on the 53-man roster as a return man, he continues to be impressed with the rookie in his switch to the NFL.

"First of all, to separate Jarryd from the total picture, again I'm pretty confident in Jarryd's ability to field the ball," Tomsula said. "I've seen him field, I've watched a ton of tape on this guy fielding a rugby ball, I've seen him field here in practice, I've seen him field in game situations," Tomsula said. "I feel very good about his abilities to field. I feel very good about his abilities to perform with the ball in his hands on special teams. The tackling part of it, the coverage parts of it, I've seen a lot of improvement there. The guy will fly down the field in those areas. ... I've seen what I need to see. I think there's been a great evaluation on him."

NOTES: LB NaVorro Bowman came through his first extended playing time in the 19-12 loss to the Broncos with no problems for his surgically repaired left knee that sidelined him all of last season. "I'm excited for him," Tomsula said. ... C Daniel Kilgore will continue to do more as he recovers from another ankle surgery, but Tomsula didn't have a timetable for his status at the start of the regular season.


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