San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York said outside linebacker Aldon Smith would seek treatment and would not be with the team for Thursday nights game against the St. Louis Rams. Smith will enter a treatment facility likely for a substance-abuse problem.
Last Friday, Smith was arrested for suspicion of DUI after he drove his car into a tree in San Jose. He was also arrested for DUI in January 2012 and was stabbed at his own house party in June of last year. Hopefully Smith will be able to straighten his life out while he is seeking treatment. Niner Noise wishes him the best of luck recovering.
York said in a statement about Smith being out indefinitely:
I’ll support our players as long as they’re willing to work towards getting better, and being better teammates, and being better member of the community. And I believe Aldon wants to do that. And I will support him and I will stand by him as long as that’s what he’s willing to do … I believe Aldon wants to tackle this problem and we’re going to do everything we can do to help him with this.
Smith was able to play on Sunday despite being arrested for DUI two days earlier. He collected five tackles while playing every defensive snap against the Colts. He issued the following statement after the loss, but he did not take any questions from reporters.
First off, I wanted to apologize to the team, the organization, my family, everybody I let down. I just wanted to let it be known that this is a problem and it’s something I will get fixed. And I will do everything within my power to make sure this never happens again. I also wanted to let everybody know that, once again, I’m sorry. Like I said, this won’t happen again.
There is no timetable for Smith’s return, but he likely will miss the next three to four games while seeking treatment. While he is out, linebacker Dan Skuta will likely takeover as the starter. He has more experience over rookie Corey Lemonier who is a third-round pick. Skuta has four starts since entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2009.
The irony for the Niners is they traded two outside linebackers before the season started. Parys Haralson, a seven-year veteran, was traded to the New Orleans Saints. Cam Johnson was traded to the Colts. It would be really nice to have Haralson’s experience starting for San Francisco while Smith is out of the lineup.
To make matters worse for the Niners defense, inside linebacker Patrick Willis left Sunday’s game late in the third quarter with a groin injury. He did not return and his status for Thursdays game in not known.