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Outside linebacker Aldon Smith was eased back into action on Sunday against the New York Giants, as he remained on the sideline for the 49ers’ first two defensive series.
But once Smith was back, he was back. And Ahmad Brooks sat on the bench.
Smith saw action on 77 percent of the 49ers’ defensive plays after his return from a nine-game suspension for violations of the NFL’s policies on substance abuse and personal conduct.
Smith played 54 snaps, while rookie outside linebacker Aaron Lynch played 66 snaps. Brooks did not see action from the middle of the second quarter through the remainder of the game. He played just 12 snaps before sitting down in apparent disgust after losing his full-time role.
Rookie inside linebacker Chris Borland, as expected, played every play. But another rookie made his largest contribution. Cornerback Dontae Johnson played 56 snaps as the team’s No. 3 cornerback. Johnson deflected the fourth-down pass late in the game that Borland caught for his second interception of the game.
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Here’s a look at how much action every 49ers player saw:
OFFENSE (68 snaps)
Quarterback: Colin Kaepernick 68.
Running back: Frank Gore 46, Carlos Hyde 22.
Fullback: Bruce Miller 31.
Wide receiver: Anquan Boldin 53, Michael Crabtree 52, Stevie Johnson 18, Brandon Lloyd 13, Kassim Osgood 3.
Tight end: Vernon Davis 60, Vance McDonald 33, Derek Carrier 5.
Offensive line: Alex Boone 68, Mike Iupati 68, Marcus Martin 68, Anthony Davis 67, Joe Staley 66, Jonathan Martin 5, Joe Looney 2.
DEFENSE (70 snaps)
Defensive line: Ray McDonald 54, Justin Smith 45, Tony Jerod-Eddie 25, Quinton Dial 14, Tank Carradine 12.
Outside linebacker: Aaron Lynch 66, Aldon Smith 54, Ahmad Brooks 12, Corey Lemonier 8.
Inside linebacker: Michael Wilhoite 70, Chris Borland 58.
Cornerback: Perrish Cox 70, Chris Culliver 70, Dontae Johnson 56, Leon McFadden 1.
Safety: Antoine Bethea 70, Eric Reid 70, Craig Dahl 15.
Carrier 19, Dahl 17, Nick Moody 15, Bubba Ventrone 15, Osgood 15, Lemonier 13, L.J. McCray 12, Chase Thomas 11, Phil Dawson 10, Johnson 10, Andy Lee 9, Kyle Nelson 9, V.McDonald 8, McFadden 8, Wilhoite 6, Cox 5, Boone 5, Iupati 5, M.Martin 5, A.Davis 5, Staley 5, Looney 5, Jerod-Eddie 5, Borland 4, Miller 4, Reid 4, Hyde 3, Lynch 2, R.McDonald 2, A.Smith 2, Dial 2, Carradine 2.
DID NOT PLAY
QB Blaine Gabbert, RB Alfonso Smith.
QB Josh Johnson, WR Bruce Ellington (ankle), WR Quinton Patton, CB Tramaine Brock (hamstring), LB Dan Skuta (ankle), OL Dillon Farrell, NT Ian Williams (fractured fibula)