The San Francisco 49ers were back at practice on Tuesday, and Aldon Smith made his return to the team session. He spent the last five weeks in rehab, but according to Smith, he was able to get in "a real good workout" a couple times a week. It remains to be seen what his status will be for Sunday, but it seems like he should be back on the field sooner rather than later.
One big question mark surrounding Aldon is potential league discipline. This marks the second known violation of the league's substance abuse policy, with the first coming from a Florida DUI early last year. This also comes along with the gun charges that could potentially result in discipline under the league's personal conduct policy. The league has not discussed the specifics of all this, but it is something in the back of our heads.
Smith spoke with the media and seemed to imply he had been in contact with the league office. He had not spoken with the commissioner, but it seems like he agreed to something with somebody:
Q: Have you talked with the Commissioner?
Smith: Not directly.
Q: Did you have to commit to anything?
Smith: An agreement.
Q: Such as?
Smith: Making sure this doesn't happen again.
Smith spent the last 5+ weeks on the NFI list while going through a rehab program. The 49ers reportedly paid him his full salary over the course of rehab. Since then, CSN Bay Area has reported Smith is expected to incur a fine of at least two game checks. A fine would make sense. He missed the playing time, but with the payment of salary during that time, it would not surprise me to see the NFL fine him, but not suspend him.
We are still left to wait and see what the gun charges will bring, so a potential suspension in 2014 might still be a possibility. Smith has a pair of court dates this month, facing the gun case on November 12, and the DUI case on November 19. Any potential plea bargain will take some time, so we'll see how it plays out.