San Francisco linebacker Aldon Smith is serving the final game of his nine-game suspension today while the 49ers play the Saints, and that came as a surprise to some in league circles who thought Smith was on course to do everything asked of him and therefore have the length of his suspension reduced.
Ed Werder of ESPN reports that the reason the suspension wasn’t shortened is that Smith didn’t fulfill his obligations when it came to counseling that the NFL told him he needed. Smith missed five games during the 2013 season to undergo substance-abuse counseling, but he and the league are apparently at odds over counseling the NFL believes he still needs.
Smith was also required to perform community service during his suspension, and according to Werder, Smith actually did more than required of him on the community service front.
The 49ers will get Smith back at practice this week and he will be eligible to play next Sunday against the Giants.