September 22, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith (99) celebrates with defensive end Ray McDonald (91, right) after tackling Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12, not pictured) during the first quarter at Candlestick Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Aldon Smith expected to play 20 to 25 percent of 49ers defensive snaps


San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith is set to return to the line up on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers in Week 10, but don’t expect to see him out there during a lot of the defensive snaps. According to reports, Smith is expected to play just around one quarter of the defensive reps as the team works in back into the line up.

From Pro Football Talk:

Per a league source, the plan currently is to ease Aldon in, with Smith expected to participate in a maximum of 20 to 25 percent of the defensive snaps.

Smith has not played a game in seven weeks, after checking in to a rehab facility to address his alcohol abuse issue, so it is obvious that the proper plan of attack will be to slowly work him back in to the line up.

The 49ers are on a roll without Smith in the line up, so they can afford to be patient.

If all works out perfectly, he will be back in full force when it matters the most.

Tags: Aldon Smith San Francisco 49ers