Programming note: Jim Harbaugh is scheduled to address the media today at 12:10 p.m. Watch the live stream right here.
St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher believes the NFL has a responsibility to his team to keep 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith on the sideline this week.
Smith is serving a nine-game suspension for violations of the league’s policies on substance abuse and personal conduct.
Multiple reports have surfaced that the NFL could reduce Smith’s suspension by one or two games.
Smith has served seven games, but if the NFL decided Smith could return for Sunday’s game against the Rams, Fisher would expect the league to make that decision before the opponent has put in its game plan.
When asked by CSNBayArea.com via conference call Wednesday morning if his coaching staff prepared for Smith early this week in case the NFL reinstated him, Fisher said, “No, that’s out of our control. We had discussion about it.”
He added, “I think the league has a responsibility to inform us early enough in the week so we have a chance to game plan if that’s the case. I would expect not to hear he would not be available for the game on Friday.”
Smith, who has 42 NFL sacks in 43 career games, would line up against rookie Greg Robinson, set to make his first career start at left tackle in place of the injured Jake Long.
The 49ers and Rams meet on Sunday at Levi's Stadium.
“If he’s available, we have to block him,” Fisher said of Smith. “He’s an outstanding player. We played against him before. We have great respect for him. If the league sees its appropriate to reinstate him, we’ll have to play against him.”