Niners lose Smith to substance abuse issue
SAN FRANCISCO - San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith was placed on the unable to perform list Monday by the NFL club after saying he needed time to cope with a substance-abuse problem.
Smith was arrested by police early Friday morning after crashing his car in San Jose and charged with driving under the influence and possession of marijuana.
The 49ers allowed Smith to play Sunday in a 27-7 home loss to Indianapolis, but team chief executive Jed York said after the game that Smith was going to a treatment facility and there was no timetable for his return.
"I am taking a leave of absence to address my health," Smith said in a statement on Monday. "I am sorry that I have affected my team, my family and the organization. I will do everything in my power to handle this situation the best way possible. I appreciate the support of the 49ers and our fans."
Smith had been previously arrested for impaired driving in Miami in January of last year and was named in two lawsuits stemming from a house party he hosted in June of last year.
Smith has been one of American football's top pass rushers since the 49ers made him the seventh selection in the 2011 NFL Draft. He had 14 sacks in his first NFL campaign and was second in the NFL last year with 19.5 sacks as he helped the 49ers reach last February's Super Bowl, where they lost to the Baltimore Ravens.
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