San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith has been activated from the non-football injury list, but that doesn’t mean he will immediately be starting when the 49ers return to action in Week 10 against the Carolina Panthers.
While there is no doubting Smith is an unbelievable talent, reports indicate that Smith will need to earn his role back and that there is a possibility he could even be inactive against the Panthers.
From Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network:
.@MikeSilver reported on Aldon Smith: He'll have to earn his role back. No guarantee he'll play next week. Earliest he practices is Tuesday
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 31, 2013
The good news for the 49ers is that they will not immediately be able to release someone in order to make room for Smith on the roster.
San Francisco was able to successfully obtain a roster exemption from the NFL that holds up until Wednesday. With that, the team will have a few days to look over their roster and determine which player is the one they can part ways with.
Smith checked himself into a rehab facility earlier in the season, and now he will be looking for redemption on the field.