49ers LB Aldon Smith has been out of football since the middle of the 2013 season due to various personal (and possibly mental) problems.
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On Sunday night, ProFootballTalk reported that San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith could be back one or two games early on his nine-game suspension.
49ers GM Trent Baalke said he didn’t know anything about it. And on Monday, head coach Jim Harbaugh also could not confirm or deny the report.
But on Monday night, ESPN Insider Chris Mortensen confirmed the report.
Mortensen points out that the move wouldn’t be unprecedented, citing the reduction in Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s six-game suspension to four games in 2010. Though the key difference in this case is that Roethlisberger was told ahead of time that his ban could be reduced – Smith received no such consideration.
Next Monday or Tuesday, the league could say that Smith will be back for the November 2nd game against the Rams. Or the following Monday or Tuesday, the league could say that Smith will be back for the November 9th game against the Saints.