Jim Harbaugh was customarily vague today when asked whether outside linebacker Aldon Smith, who returned to the team last week after more than a month in treatment, would play against the Panthers on Sunday.
"We'll assess that," Harbaugh said. "It's been clear - and Aldon has been, too - that this is something that's being taken day to day."
Smith took part in his first full practice on Wednesday since returning to the team last week. Despite missing the last five contests, he still leads the 49ers with 4 ½ sacks.
Smith started the team's first three games and played 95 percent of the defensive snaps in those games. He played 100 percent of the snaps -- as well as a few on special teams -- in his most recent game on Sept. 22, which came two days after his DUI arrest.
Smith also kept things fuzzy when asked Tuesday how much he'd play against Carolina. "That's crossing my mind," he said. "You know, I'm just taking it one day at a time - getting back here, being around the guys, just getting into my life back at home. You know, I've got a 10-month-old son. So I'm doing the father thing. So I'm just trying to make sure I'm all ready to go."
-- Matt Barrows