Aldon Smith is back for the San Francisco 49ers. As Jim Trotter of SI.com and The MMQB reported, it is often difficult for players to return from suspensions or other adverse situations. Smith, however, is not returning from a suspension. Yes, it was a leave of absence for five weeks, but this is a situation where the entire 49ers organization has Aldon’s back. After the PR disaster of (justifiably and, for all anyone outside of the organization knows, correctly) letting Aldon play against the Indianapolis Colts three days after his arrest, do you think Jim Harbaugh, Jed York, or anyone on that staff would let this situation spiral ever more out of control? True, outside perceptions are not the locker room reality (just go to South Beach if you need proof) Nevertheless, tension can build when fans and pundits eat a team alive.
Two things have prevented this. First, winning. Now that the 49ers have lost again, Colin Kaepernick is feeling heat and Smith’s viability is being questioned. However, Aldon played 11 snaps. 11. Is it any surprise he didn’t get a sack? Even he isn’t THAT good. He is expected to play more against the pass-happy New Orleans Saints Sunday, however, and I expect a big game. This is his chance to show his teammates, coaches, and owners—who have had his back through everything—that they have made the right choice by choosing to stand by a young man who has made mistakes, but will learn from them and be the better for it. I believe in Aldon Smith.
Do you believe in Aldon Smith? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments section. Best comment(s) will be shared next Thursday. Please keep it clean and short.