Even after the team sent Ahmad Brooks home after he was hit with charges of sexual battery, the linebacker made the final cut for the 49ers' 53-man roster.
On Saturday, each NFL team made final cuts to their rosters, whittling them down to 53 before the season officially starts on Thursday. Brooks was previously sent home during the preseason on August 27, a day after he was hit with charges of misdemeanor sexual battery, according to the AP.
"We have been in close communication with the league and a preliminary status decision has been made regarding Ahmad Brooks. Ahmad will remain on the active roster," the 49ers said in a statement. "In addition to the steps the organization has taken to this point, both the judicial and the league process under the Personal Conduct Policy will continue. Those processes will dictate any further action."
"Based upon our investigation to date, we determined that placing Ahmad Brooks on the Commissioner's Exempt List was not warranted," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told CSNBayArea.com. Being placed on the Commissioner's Exempt List bars players from team activities but allows them to continue to get paid. Notably, both Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy were placed on this list last year during their own legal proceedings.
Brooks' charges stem from an incident at former teammate Ray McDonald's house on December 15. A woman accused McDonald of raping her and in a recent lawsuit also accused Brooks of groping her while she was unconscious. McDonald was cut the day after the allegations surfaced. On August 26, McDonald was charged with rape and Brooks was hit with a misdemeanor sexual battery charge.
When asked if he expects Brooks to play against the Vikings in the team's season opener next Monday night, according to ESPN head coach Jim Tomsula said, "Yes I do."
Although the 49ers have cut both McDonald and Aldon Smith amid mounting legal issues and bad PR, this roster move serves as another example of how the NFL continues to bungle handling cases of player misconduct. While the league continues to fight in federal court to get one of their most famous players suspended for allegedly doing something that had no effect on the game, Brooks will suit up when the league kicks off this week. Being asked to not play in meaningless preseason games was apparently enough of a gesture to show that they're taking these matters seriously.