The last time a player disputed San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh's judgment about the player's readiness for action, Harbaugh cut him.
That was last year, when wide receiver Braylon Edwards never fully came back from knee and shoulder injuries. Edwards suggested he'd miss a game or two, but instead of telling Harbaugh, he told the media. Harbaugh eventually released Edwards during the season last year, a move that surprised his 49ers teammates.
Now, running back Brandon Jacobs has questioned the coaching staff over his inability to get on the field after recovering from a Aug. 18 knee injury. Jacobs maintains that he has been ready for at least a week, and he would like to play against the New York Giants, the team he played with the previous seven seasons.
USA Today asked Jacobs if he would be disappointed not to play against his former teammates.
"It would disappoint me a lot," he said, "but like I said, it's not my call."
When USA Today asked if he were frustrated, Jacobs said, "Oh, very, because I don't know anything. I don't know what's what. But I'm hanging in there, I'm working every day, doing what I have to do. Let's say I'm just working and doing what I have to do, and that's that."
Jacobs and Harbaugh have had several meetings since, and Jacobs seems to feel better with the increased communication.
"I understand where Coach is coming from, and Coach understands me from him playing football and understanding the athlete and the competitive nature of wanting to get out and play to help the team win, not only that (game) against his former team," Jacobs said. "In this case, his former team is not important. What's important is for us in the long run."
The question is how much the 49ers need Jacobs. They are ranked first in the league in rushing yards per game (195.8), and their average of 6.1 yards per carry is the best since the Giants averaged 6.1 yards per carry in 2008. Also, Jacobs doesn't play special teams, and that's where the 49ers are lacking, particularly in their coverage units.
In other news Thursday, the 49ers announced they will play Jacksonville in a regular-season game next year in London. Jacksonville will be considered the home team.