Aldon Smith is set to miss more than half of the San Francisco 49ers season.
On Friday, the NFL announced that the outside linebacker has been banned for the first nine games of the campaign for violating the league’s policies on substance abuse and personal conduct, per Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area.
Smith can rejoin the 49ers 53-man roster on Monday, November 10 following the team’s Week 9 matchup against the New Orleans Saints. General manager Trent Baalke released a statement on the suspension, via Maiocco.
“Our organization has known this decision would come and we have prepared for it as a team. Aldon has taken responsibility for his actions and has continued to show growth personally and professionally. We will continue to support him, but it’s time to put this matter behind us and focus on the season ahead.”
Smith had impressed head coach Jim Harbaugh with his play during training camp. The 24-year-old also explained at the outset of camp that he was ready for a big season.
“I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in coming into a camp. My mind’s probably in the best spot it’s ever been in. So, I’m feeling great.”
Listen to Smith’s interview from the beginning of training camp right here: