SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- San Francisco 49ers linebacker Gerald Hodges is intent on leaving the immediate past behind him. On Tuesday, Hodges declined to explain his deactivation for last week's game against the Atlanta Falcons and repeatedly said he only wants to look ahead.
"The coaches just said they decided not to dress me," Hodges said. "That’s the decision they made, that’s the decision we’re all going to go with and we’re on to a new week and I’m ready to go."
After the Niners announced Hodges would be on the inactive list Sunday, the team confirmed that he had violated a team rule, although coach Chip Kelly said after the game that it was simply a coach's decision. Defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil said the decision to deactivate Hodges was made late in the week but not before the team traveled to Atlanta, which would explain why the team was unable to have a replacement ready on Sunday.
Hodges' absence was an obvious hindrance for the Niners, who already were low on inside linebackers because of previous season-ending injuries to NaVorro Bowman, Ray-Ray Armstrong and Shayne Skov. Without Hodges, they started the game with only Michael Wilhoite and Nick Bellore healthy at the position. On Atlanta's third play from scrimmage, Bellore suffered an elbow injury that would end his day and season. That forced the Niners to play safeties Vinnie Sunseri and Antoine Bethea and outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks on the inside.
Asked if he needed to show remorse to his teammates and coaches or if he let the team down, Hodges again demurred.
"Any time I’m never on the field, I feel like it’s hard to watch because I always want to be on the field and the guys know that," Hodges said. "My coaches know that."
"Like I said, I don’t want to get into all that. It’s up to the coaches but it was their decision not to dress me and that’s the decision we all went with. Like I said, it’s a new week and I’m ready to get out there and ball."
San Francisco placed Bellore on injured reserve on Monday and claimed inside linebacker Carl Bradford off waivers from Green Bay to take his place on the roster.
While Kelly and O'Neil have indicated that Hodges' return to the lineup is no sure thing, Hodges said he will be back in the mix after missing his first start in eight weeks.
"We’re leaving it in the past and we’re moving on to this weekend and that’s what we have," Hodges said. "I’m back out there and ready to go."