SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The 49ers have been preparing for months to play without Aldon Smith for an extended period.
Now they know the exact amount of time. He is suspended for more than half the season.
The star linebacker received a nine-game penalty Friday stemming from a series of off-field legal issues. A statement from the NFL said Smith violated the league's substance-abuse and personal-conduct policies. The four-year veteran won't be eligible to return until Nov. 10.
"Our organization has known this decision would come, and we have prepared for it as a team," 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. "Aldon has taken responsibility for his actions and has continued to show growth personally and professionally. We will continue to support him, but it is time to put this matter behind us and focus on the season ahead."
Smith, 24, missed five games last season to undergo treatment at an in-patient facility after a DUI arrest Sept. 20. Just before training camp began last month, he was sentenced to three years' of probation and 11 days with a work crew after he pleaded no contest to drunken-driving and weapons charges. He has repeatedly said he has been sober since his DUI arrest in September.
Plea hearing is set for Colts owner
NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — A change of plea hearing has been set for Tuesday for Colts owner Jim Irsay, who faces drug-related charges after a March traffic stop. Hamilton County Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Andre Miksha said a not guilty plea had previously been entered on behalf of the 55-year-old Irsay.
Bears: Former Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch, a Heisman Trophy finalist last season, was cut ahead of today's 4 p.m. deadline to trim rosters to 53 players. He was trying to make the team as a running back after being signed as an undrafted free agent.
Bengals: BenJarvus Green-Ellis was cut, a move anticipated when LSU's Jeremy Hill was drafted in the second round. Green-Ellis was the team's leading rusher each of the past two seasons. His role was reduced when Giovani Bernard was added to the backfield last season.
Bills: The team signed long-snapper Garrison Sanborn, a Jesuit grad, to a three-year extension, locking up the sixth-year player from Florida State through 2017. Former Hurricanes center Jared Wheeler, veteran punter Brian Moorman and backup quarterback Jordan Palmer were among the cuts.
Cowboys: Safety Ahmad Dixon was fined $22,050 for a hit on Dolphins receiver Matt Hazel last week. Dixon was penalized for unnecessary roughness for hitting Hazel after the ball had sailed past him near the goal line. He was fined for hitting a defenseless player in the head and neck area.
Falcons: Veteran linebacker Pat Angerer, a former starter with the Colts, and former Hurricanes fullback Maurice Hagens were among the cuts.
Jaguars: Center Mike Brewster went from starter to the street in a matter of weeks and was among those waived along with former Hurricanes quarterback Stephen Morris.
Rams: Defensive end Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted, was not among the team's 17 cuts. The team must cut five more players today. Sam is in a competition with fellow rookie Ethan Westbrooks for one of the final roster spots.
Seahawks: Quarterback Terrelle Pryor, acquired in April from the Raiders for a seventh-round draft choice, was released, leaving Tarvaris Jackson and USF's B.J. Daniels as backups.
Texans: Safety D.J. Swearinger was not fined for a hit on Broncos receiver Wes Welker that drew a penalty last weekend and caused Welker's third concussion in nine months.
Vikings: Receiver Jerome Simpson has been suspended for three games for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy, his second such punishment in three seasons. It puts him on the sideline without pay until Sept. 22 when the Vikings begin practice for a Week 4 game with Atlanta. He won't count against the 53-man active roster until then.