49ers activate OLB Aldon Smith from NFI list
Smith was arrested for driving under the influence and marijuana possession in September. The 49ers allowed him to play in the following game - a decision that drew some criticism - but Smith has not played since that Week 3 contest. Shortly after that game, he announced that he would be "taking a leave of absence to address my health," and he admitted himself to a rehab program.
Just because Smith is active does not mean he is out of the water just yet. He turned himself in on felony weapons charges on Tuesday and has a November 12 court date. In addition, he still has outstanding charges for the DUI and marijuana possession that sparked this whole mess. Some good news is that, because of his willingness to seek treatment for his problems, the NFL may not suspend Smith, who has already essentially missed five games due to his behavior.
Smith's return will provide a boost to a 49ers pass rush that has slipped to 22nd in the league in sacks. With 4.5 sacks in just three games, Smith still leads the team in that department. Rookie Corey Lemonier and Dan Skuta had been filling in opposite of Ahmad Brooks during Smith's absence, but they will now be relegated to a bench role.
The Aldon Smith saga is likely far from over, but 49ers fans can breath a sigh of relief for now, as he should be on the field for the foreseeable future.