On Tuesday night, Aldon Smith surrendered himself to authorities on felony weapons charges. The next day, he dropped by the office.
“Aldon was in the building,” coach Jim Harbaugh told 95.7 The Game. “It was great to see the reaction of others who saw him and Aldon’s reaction of being back here with some of the guys. He looks great, and we’re having a great day.”
Harbaugh avoided making any commitments about when Smith, who remains on an indefinite leave of absence, will return to the team.
“I think the prudent thing to do is look at it day-to-day and have a goal of having a great day,” Harbaugh said. “He’s been taking that approach, really over the last five weeks. And it’s served him well and he’s [made] quite a bit of progress.”
While the 49ers are interested, as they should be, in Smith’s long-term health and well being, the new criminal charges complicate an already delicate situation. Between the DUI that sparked the rehab stint and the new felony charges that reach back to June 2012, Smith’s return to the team could be followed at some point by a league-mandated departure.
More importantly, Smith needs to stay out of trouble, or he’ll eventually be dealing with a permanent departure from the team, and from the sport.