ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Sunday that the 49ers are not counting on Smith’s return this season. This backs up what defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said when he was asked Thursday if the star pass-rusher will suit up again in 2013. “I don’t know that yet. I don’t know that yet,” Fangio said.
Smith, who entered an alcohol treatment center 20 days ago, was in the news again last week when he was was charged with three felony gun counts stemming from a June 2012 party at his house. The charges did not catch the team by surprise and there has never been a timetable for his return.
Still, with Smith’s troubles piling up, the team wants to make sure his focus is on his getting life straight. Thus not counting on his return this year is on track with the approach the team is taking. His football career is on the back burner, plain and simple.
However, I think Smith will play again this season as long as he gets his personal life in order.
Getting Smith better is the true priority right now.