In some big news out of San Francisco Thursday, linebacker Aldon Smith rejoined his teammates. As the San Francisco 49ers prepare to face the Carolina Panthers after their bye week, Smith will be back on the field practicing with his team for the first time since he left to go into treatment.
Smith has been the center of a couple of legal issues involving both assault weapons charges and a DUI. He checked himself into rehab in late September in order to get his problem under control, which was the best possible decision for him at the time.
Now back with his team, it is unclear whether or not he will play against the Panthers in week 10. Regardless, it was the right move to bring Smith back even though some of his legal issues have not been cleared up. Until they do, Smith can certainly help the 49ers on the field and in effort to get back to the big game.
Smith will have to work his way back into the rotation and will likely be a fill-in on certain plays or packages to begin with, according to NFL.com. The team is making the right move in making this decision; not giving him a starting role immediately sends the right message to the team and the public.
For those upset about Smith returning to the team amidst all of the legal circumstances, football is about winning. We’re not in pee wee anymore. This is the highest level of play, and the 49ers are in the running for a Super Bowl.
With that said, I believe Smith has the right to play if he has made all the necessary steps to turn his life around. Already having checked himself into rehab as well as turning himself in to the authorities regarding the weapon charges, Smith is doing the right thing and in return, so is San Francisco.