Before the start of the regular season, 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith received a nine-game suspension for multiple violations of league policies. The seventh game comes tonight.
Per multiple league sources, there’s a chance that the suspension will be lifted a game or two early.
Of course, there’s a chance that plenty of things will happen, including but not limited to the emergence of winged primates from a place from which winged primates don’t normally emerge. With Smith, a lifting of the suspension would be a major surprise, given that the possibility of the suspension being lifted early wasn’t mentioned when Smith’s nine-game suspension was announced.
Then again, other aspects of Smith’s suspension weren’t announced, or explained. For example, Smith had appeal rights that apparently were waived by the player. Likewise, the league twisted its policies regarding player banishment from the team facility to allow Smith to continue to show up during his suspension, even though players suspended under the personal conduct policy always are ordered to stay away until fully reinstated.
It’s possible that the league office dangled a different carrot for Smith, encouraging him to go above and beyond his expected behavior with the hope of possibly being allowed to return a little early.
After San Francisco’s Week Eight bye, they host the Rams and then visit the Saints in New Orleans. Both of those teams would probably be unhappy with a reduced suspension.