Report: Smith will not return early

According to a report, 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith will not return from his nine-game suspension early and will remain out against the Saints Sunday. He is slated to return the following week when San Francisco plays the New York Giants.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The 49ers won't have Aldon Smith against Drew Brees and the Saints' second-ranked offense after all, according to a report by ESPN Tuesday.

Despite a report surfacing before Week 7's game in Denver, Smith will not be reinstated from his suspension early. He will return as scheduled for the team's next game in New York against the Giants Nov. 16.

Per ESPN's Ed Werder on Twitter:

Smith was suspended nine games prior to the season for violating the league's substance abuse and personal conduct policies.

Smith has dealt with a string of run-ins with the law over the last two-plus years, giving him "repeat offender" status, including an arrest at Los Angeles International Airport for allegedly issuing a false bomb threat at a security checkpoint April 13. The Los Angeles District Attorney's office decided Smith would not be charged with a felony in that case.

That incident came 38 days before Smith pleaded "no contest" to three felony weapons charges and two misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence in a Santa Clara Superior Court May 21. He was sentenced in July to 11 days on a sheriff's work crew after his gun charges were reduced to misdemeanors. Smith was also required to complete 235 hours of community service and serve three years probation.

49ers coach Jim Harbaugh has been encouraged by Smith during his time away from the field. The NFL allowed Smith to remain at the team's facility while suspended.

“(Smith's) excelling at his community service and when he’s around the facility, very well,” he said Oct. 20.

The 49ers Tuesday cleared a spot on the 53-man roster by releasing defensive lineman Demarcus Dobbs. That vacancy will presumably be filled by nose tackle Glenn Dorsey, who began practicing after the bye after sustaining a torn biceps tendon early in training camp. Dorsey was given the injured reserve designation to return.

With 42 sacks in 43 career games, Smith became the quickest player to 30 sacks (27 games) in NFL history after getting drafted with the 7th-overall pick in 2011. Despite his absence, San Francisco is No. 2 in the NFL in total defense.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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