Jim Harbaugh is unwilling to speculate on the future of Aldon Smith - nor would he say if the team has a plan for the All-Pro linebacker.
Smith pleaded no contest to three felony weapons charges and two misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence in San Jose Wednesday. His next day in court will be his sentencing hearing July 25 when he could face up to four years in prison.
With training camp set to start that week - and Smith likely facing a league suspension to start the season - the question becomes whether or not the 49ers will allow Smith to participate.
"I'm not going to get into speculating on what's going to happen, what could happen, what will happen," Harbaugh said.
Is Smith considered a starting linebacker?
"We're too early to tell who's our starters right now," said Harbaugh.
Given how the 49ers allowed Smith to start a game against the Colts just two days after his arrest for driving under the influence last fall - and picked up his fifth-year option in 2015 despite his string of arrests - it remains likely the team will allow Smith to participate in training camp. He's been at the team's facility working in the team's offseason program.
"He's coming to work. He's showing up. He's working hard. He's listening. He's doing what he says he's going to do if given that opportunity. Yes," Harbaugh said.
San Francisco went 5-0 in Smith's absence in 2013 while he attended a rehabilitation facility following his DUI charge. With Dan Skuta, Corey Lemonier and recent fifth-round pick Aaron Lynch competing for playing time this summer, the 49ers look as though they have insulated themselves from another stint without Smith.
Still, it's tough to replace a player that has 42 sacks in 43 games. And despite whatever public relations hit the team would take in backing Smith, the support doesn't appear to be wavering.
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