49ers General Manager Trent Baalke is in London with his team as they prepare for Sunday’s game against the Jaguars, but his mind isn’t totally focused on the happenings on that side of the pond.
Baalke is also thinking about linebacker Aldon Smith, who remains in the rehab program for substance abuse he entered a few days after being arrested on suspicion of DUI. Coach Jim Harbaugh said recently that he hoped Smith would rejoin the team in the next couple of weeks, perhaps after the team’s Week Nine bye, and Baalke expressed similar hope on Friday while discussing Smith’s future with the team.
“Our ultimate goal hasn’t changed: help Aldon get back to a place he feels comfortable and move forward in a positive manner,” Baalke said, via Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group. “… We’re obviously hopeful [for a return after the bye]. At the same time, we’re prepared for either outcome.”
Once out of rehab, Smith also needs to face the gun charges brought against him in Santa Clara County so his off-field troubles won’t be wrapped up in a little bow upon his release from the program.