I could write 500 words just to hyperlink all the reports that Aldon Smith has a good shot at getting a game or two knocked off his nine-game suspension. If you don’t believe me, you either get all your 49ers news from this site (Thanks! But I don’t believe you.) or you’ve been living under one of the Levi’s Stadium bridges. Which have Wi-Fi, so if you have any juice left on your phone you can go ahead and google “Aldon Smith” and see for yourself.
Smith is scheduled to miss the games on Nov. 2 against the Rams and Nov. 9 in New Orleans, but there’s a chance the NFL could allow him to play in both of those games, or maybe just the Saints game. Can one player make that big of a difference? In this case, absolutely. I’ve only seen Smith once in the past month, when he walked through the locker room on a Thursday afternoon wearing boxing gloves after a workout. Sorry about the cliche, but he looked like he was in the best shape of his life. Since he’s been working out in the weeks playing better than anyone else on the team (by far) during training camp, it’s safe to assume that he’d make his mark in his first game back, even in a part-time role.
Smith’s return isn’t guaranteed, but the week off should help this loooong list of players immensely.
- Patrick Willis (toe)
- Mike Iupati (concussion)
- Tramaine Brock (toe)
- Jimmie Ward (quad strain)
- Chris Culliver (shoulder)
- Chris Cook (quadricep, hamstring)
- Anthony Davis (knee, ankle)
- Vernon Davis (back)
- Marcus Martin (they’ll be furiously coaching him up to take over for Daniel Kilgore)
- Perrish Cox (quadricep)
- Tony Jerod-Eddie (shoulder)
- Stevie Johnson (hip)
- Ian Williams (ankle, shoulder)
The bye week benefits aren’t just physical in nature, either. Since losing to the Seattle Seahawks in a close NFC Championship Game, five starters were arrested or investigated by law enforcement, two starters staged long holdouts, and there have been nonstop rumors about the head coach. Throw in a difficult early schedule and the transition to a new stadium (which hasn’t gone as smoothly as expected), and a mental break could do these guys some good.