San Francisco outside linebacker Aldon Smith made his return to the field today in the 49ers’ 10-9 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
He saw limited action and didn’t record a tackle.
Smith spent about a month at an in-patient treatment facility to address a substance abuse issue after receiving his second DUI in September.
It was unknown if Smith would play again at all this year, but he was activated and spent a week practicing, so it was safe to assume he wouldn’t play much against the Panthers while he gets re-acclimated to the NFL.
San Francisco’s defense played well, but Smith was not happy with his role when asked by CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco.
‘Not really,” Smith said.
“I’m a competitor,” he continued, “and I want to be on the field, but whatever works. The season is long, so we’ll see how it goes.
“I don’t really call those shots. I just put my clothes on, put my cleats on and play.”
Even without their best pass rusher, San Francisco gave up just 250 yards of total offense and only 10 points.
Is the team better when he is at his best? Yes, absolutely. Is Aldon just a competitor that wants to play and help the team? Yes again.
Smith is lucky to even be playing at all right now, however.