SAN FRANCISCO -- There has been no adjustment to the 49ers’ timetable on Aldon Smith’s return to the playing field.
And that’s because the 49ers have never made any guesses as to when Smith will return off the reserve/non-football injury list. Smith entered a rehabilitation facility for substance abuse on Sept. 23.
A source told CSNBayArea.com on Sept. 25 that Smith would not return to action until he shows he has made “significant progress.”
When asked last week if the 49ers expect Smith to return to action this season, 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said, “I don’t know that yet. I don’t know that yet.”
The 49ers are moving forward with Dan Skuta and Corey Lemonier sharing the responsibilities at outside linebacker in Smith’s absence. Skuta generally plays on base downs with Lemonier entering the game in pass-rush situations.
The most-likely scenario is that Smith is able to meet with 49ers coaches and officials after the club returns from its Oct. 27 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in London. The 49ers’ bye week is scheduled for Nov. 3, and that week could provide Smith with his first opportunity to demonstrate to the 49ers what kind of progress he has made.
Smith faces three felony weapons and two misdemeanor DUI charges for separate incidents. The DUI charges stem from his Sept. 20 arrest in San Jose. Those legal issues should have no impact on Smith’s ability to play this season. The NFL is not expected to rule on any discipline for Smith until after those cases have been adjudicated.
“We’ve been aware of the incident (the weapons charges), the serious nature of it,” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. “And we’re all accountable for our actions good and bad. So, there’s a process, due process, other processes that will take place and I don’t feel any need to comment further on it.”