49ers Place LB Aldon Smith On Reserve/NFI List
By Allen Kim
The San Francisco 49ers officially placed LB Aldon Smith on the reserve/non-football injury list today. This move comes on the heels of coach Jim Harbaugh’s decision to play Smith against the Indianapolis Colts days after his accident and arrest stemming from a DUI.
"Aldon Smith is taking a leave of absence to address a personal matter,” said 49ers GM Trent Baalke. “The 49ers organization both respects and supports Aldon’s decision and commends him for taking responsibility for his actions. The long-term well-being of our players is paramount and we will stand by Aldon as he works toward addressing this issue. Due to the private nature of the matter, we will have no further comment.”
There were many vocal critics opposed to the team’s decision to allow him to play following his latest transgression, and that may have led to the team’s decision to finally take action. By playing Smith days after the incident, it sent a poor message to fans and the community, and it certainly didn’t reflect well on the 49ers organization. His presence also didn’t seem to have a major impact after the Colts defeated them in a 27-7 route.
When asked about his decision to play Smith, Harbaugh said, “We did what we felt was in the best interest of the team and the player long-term.”
“I am taking a leave of absence to address my health,” said Aldon Smith. “I am sorry that I have affected my team, my family and the organization. I will do everything in my power to handle this situation the best way possible. I appreciate the support of the 49ers and our fans.”