SANTA CLARA -- Outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks was recently informed he won his appeal of the $15,750 fine for his hit last month on New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Brooks told CSNBayArea.com on Friday.
Brooks appealed the fine during a hearing over the phone with appeals officer Matt Birk, who retired this year after a 14-season NFL as a center. He declined further comment.
Brooks was penalized 15 yards and a sack-fumble was negated due to “unnecessary roughness” that referee Tony Corrente called against Brooks on Nov. 17 at the Superdome. NFL director of operations Merton Hanks, the former 49ers Pro Bowl safety, levied the fine on Brooks.
The pivotal play occurred with 3:12 remaining in regulation with the 49ers leading 20-17.
The Saints retained possession and tied the game a minute later. New Orleans then scored the winning points as time expired on Garrett Hartley’s 31-yard field goal for a 23-20 victory.
The controversial penalty that, perhaps, prevented the 49ers from the victory looks bigger than ever.
The 49ers (11-4) enter the final week of the regular season one game behind Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West. The 49ers can still win their third division title in three seasons with a victory on Sunday over the Arizona Cardinals and a Seattle loss to the St. Louis Rams. The 49ers would win a tie-breaker against the Seahawks based on a better division record.