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September 23, 2013
49ers place Aldon Smith on non-football injury list

The 49ers today placed Aldon Smith on the reserve non-football injury list, a designation that allows the troubled outside linebacker to seek treatment immediately. Smith was arrested early Friday morning for DUI and marijuana possession after crashing his car into a San Jose front yard.

"Aldon Smith is taking a leave of absence to address a personal matter," said 49ers general manager Trent Baalke in a statement. "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."

Said Smith in a statement: "I am taking a leave of absence to address my health. 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."

Rookie Corey Lemonier and Dan Skuta will fill in for Smith at outside linebacker while he seeks treatment. The designation opens up a spot on the 53-man roster, allowing the 49ers to sign another player this week. It's unclear at this point how many weeks Smith will miss. There is no minimum time he has to sit out by being on NFI.

-- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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