On Sunday, the man who has collected 38 sacks in 35 regular-season games will return to the 49ers after a five-game absence. It’s unlikely that linebacker Aldon Smith will rack up a bunch of sacks against the Panthers.
Per a league source, the plan currently is to ease Aldon in, with Smith expected to participate in a maximum of 20 to 25 percent of the defensive snaps.
It will be Smith’s first game in seven weeks. The 49ers went 5-0 without him.
Overall, the 49ers are 6-2. Beyond Smith, they’ll also eventually get back receiver Michael Crabtree.