San Francisco 49ers’ linebacker Aldon Smith will be away from the team for a while. He is currently undergoing rehab after being arrested for DUI and possession of marijuana last week.
According to Gil Brandt of NFL.com, the 49ers expect to be without Smith for at least five weeks. He is expected to be in rehab for three to four weeks, and he would need some time to get back in football shape. The 49ers would also need commissioner Roger Goodell’s approval to take him off the non-football injury list. Plus, there’s the notion that the NFL will suspend Smith a few games for the DUI arrest, but that could come later in the year.
Brandt also touched on why the 49ers chose to play Smith last Sunday against the Colts, just two days after his arrest. Apparently, if the 49ers deactivated Smith, the NFL Players’ Association would file a grievance against the team to prevent a bad precedent from being set. So, not wanting to waste a roster spot, the 49ers decided to play Smith and see what he could give them.
After the game, it was announce the Smith was taken an indefinite leave of absence for treatment.
It is obvious that the talented linebacker needs help to avoid these issues in the future. He has been involved in several run-ins with the law already, and being caught for his second DUI in less than a year was probably the last straw.
His teammates will probably try to mentor him and put him in the right mindset.
As one team official told Brandt, “I think the players see that now they have to be his family more than being a buddy.”