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Aaron Lynch returned, so what’s next for the 49ers outside linebackers?

The 49ers outside linebackers are all on the field at this point. Will we see improvement?

The San Francisco 49ers welcomed back outside linebacker Aaron Lynch on Thursday, as his four-game suspension came to a close. Lynch got right back into the lineup, going out with the starters and getting 35 of 68 defensive snaps. He finished the game with two hurries, according to Pro Football Focus.

The 49ers made some changes to their rotation of outside linebackers on Thursday. Ahmad Brooks played 28 snaps, which was only 41 percent of total defensive snaps. In the first four weeks, his snap counts ranged from over 60 percent to over 80 percent. Thursday saw a distinct decrease in his workload.

Tank Carradine also saw a decline, but that was due to injury. He played nine snaps on the evening. Eli Harold ended up with the second most work among OLBs, playing 32 defensive snaps.

I recently subscribed to Football Outsiders’ premium charting data. They are tracking quarterback hurries, and have updated it through Week 4. Prior to Thursday Night Football, the 49ers had the following hurry totals from their outside linebackers:

Ahmad Brooks: 3.0 hurries
Tank Carradine: 2.0 hurries
Eli Harold: 1.0 hurries

The 49ers have gotten more sacks through Thursday from their inside linebackers (3.0) than this group (2.0, all Ahmad Brooks). The 49ers have mixed and matched a variety of blitzes, but even still, they need to be getting more from their edge rushers. In reality, they need more from their edge rushers AND their defensive line. But for purposes of their 3-4, the edge rushers are not consistently getting the job done.

The fourth game was the quarter mark of the 49ers season, but with the short week, we’ll just go with the first five weeks as the quarter mark. I think it is safe to say we can expect more from Lynch as he gets back into the swing of things. But will we see more from the other guys?