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Aldon Smith to seek treatment for alcohol abuse, per Maiocco

Aldon Smith is expected to seek treatment for alcohol abuse. We take a look at some comments from Aldon Smith and Jed York, and look to what this means. New to Niners Nation? Sign up here and join the discussion!

Jed Jacobsohn

Sunday was more or less a disaster for the 49ers, dropping an ugly 27-7 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. There will be plenty to break down from the fairly horrific performance, but there is news that is more important than football. According to Matt Maiocco, 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith is "out indefinitely" as he will seek treatment for alcohol abuse.

Aldon had a very brief statement, and 49ers CEO Jed York took more time to speak with the media about this situation. I've got a some thoughts on all this, but I'm still formulating them for tomorrow. I went into today hoping the 49ers would deactivate Aldon Smith, but I've opened my mind to alternatives. Kevin Lynch had an interesting take (and some pertinent quotations) on why playing Aldon made sense.

LB Aldon Smith
Postgame Quotes - September 22, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. Indianapolis Colts


"First off I wanted to apologize to the team, the organization, my family and everybody I let down. I also wanted to let it be known that this is a problem and it's something that I will get fixed, and that I'll do everything in my power to make sure that this never happens again. I also wanted to let everybody know that once again I'm sorry and, like I said, this won't happen again."

49ers CEO Jed York
Postgame Quotes - September 22, 2013
San Francisco 49ers vs. Indianapolis Colts

Opening Statement:

"I don't know that there's a right decision in this situation. It was obviously something that was very disappointing to the team and I think in talking with [LB] Aldon [Smith] and knowing what he wants to do, there's not a one-day fix. This is a long-term fix. We support Aldon if Aldon is willing to fight for himself and try to make this right and I will stand here and I will support him and I'll take any shots that anybody wants to direct at the organization, you can direct them to me. And I will support Aldon as long as he's willing to work at this and fight to get better."

Was it your call to let him play today?

"[General Manager] Trent [Baalke] and [Head Coach] Jim [Harbaugh] handled it. They obviously talked to me about it and I think again, under the circumstances, knowing what Aldon wants to do, I think this was the best thing for Aldon. And again, there's no right answer here. We're very fortunate that nobody got hurt, Aldon included and anybody else, and we want to make sure that Aldon is never in a position like this again."

What's the next step for Aldon?

"This is a personal matter and I'm not going to speak about Aldon's personal matters. If he wants to speak about that I will let him have the opportunity to do that in due time."

Would you expect him to be with the team at the Rams game and to play in that game?


How long do you expect him to be gone?

"I don't know. It will be indefinite."

So would it be fair to surmise that he's going to be seeking treatment and counseling and therapy and help?

"Again, that's Aldon's personal issue. But we're going to support him and I believe Aldon wants to tackle this problem and we're going to do everything that we can to help him with this."

Did you have any private discussions with him so that he convinced you that this is the right path?

"As an organization, we've talked to him. Again, we feel like there was no right decision. There was no right way to do it, but this was, in our opinion, the best way to do it. We're going to support Aldon to the fullest as long as he's willing to support himself and work towards making things right."

Is there a timetable for his return?

"There's no timetable."

Can you explain the one-day fix? Why does he play today? Why not have him go do whatever he's going to do starting today?

"That's a personal decision for Aldon."

That's a team decision; he played.

"Yeah, he did play. And again, we thought that was the best decision for Aldon."

Did you think it was the best decision because you wanted to win the game?

"No. We thought it was the best decision for Aldon and for him in the future and for him to make progress and get better."

There was some question about whether you could have deactivated him in this situation, had you chosen to do so. But clearly you could have decided to punish him in some other way; not play him or not start him, even though he was in uniform. What consideration was given to those sorts of things?

"A lot of consideration. And I think that's a very valid question. Our opinion was, sitting somebody down and paying them to sit down when they're going to seek treatment in the future, that didn't seem like an appropriate punishment. I know it might not sound reasonable, but for Aldon to be able to face the media, face his teammates, and take full responsibility for what he's doing, we felt that was the best situation for Aldon himself, and for the team, and ultimately the community at large. And I realize people might not agree with that decision, but that was the decision that we felt was best."

Was this one of the toughest decisions you've had to make as head of this team?

"This was not an easy weekend for us. Again, I'll support our players as long as they're willing to work towards getting better and being better teammates, better members of the community. I believe that Aldon wants to do that and I will support him and I will stand by him as long as that's what he's willing to do."

What potential discipline do you think the NFL might invoke?

"I have no idea. Again, I think Aldon is going to take steps on his own. We're not worried about that. We're not trying to circumvent what the NFL will do. This is about making sure that Aldon has the opportunity to work on something, get better. And he knows that he has our support and hopefully he has everybody's support in something that is going to be very difficult."