The San Francisco 49ers obviously missed Aldon Smith, who left the team to attend an out-of-state rehabilitation clinic in September. The proof is in the personal attention he received while attending the clinic from the organization.
Smith said Tuesday (in his first media interview since he’s been back) that he received a lot of support from family, friends and teammates. “It really says a lot that guys care about me outside of the field and as a person” Smith said.
When asked about how his time away may have been difficult to accept he responded this way:
“Of course I didn’t want to be away from the sport I love. But it was good for me to get away and get my mind together, to get to the positive spot I need to be at.”
This was good for Aldon. It is and would be good for a lot of athletes who struggle with addictions. I applaud him for taking these steps but he’s still got a long ways to go so I guess it’s a waiting game to see how far recovered he is.
Even though the 49ers won each of their five games since he left, an all-pro defensive end missing from the rotation can mess with a lot of things, including both locker room chemistry to on-field chemistry. He’s been reactivated to the 53-man roster and is trying to get to a position to play this upcoming Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.
We’ll see just how ready he is to help his team on the field as opposed to hurting his team off of it, probably as soon as this weekend. Hopefully he can get his life back together and just focus on football.