Aldon Smith not only was on the practice field mere hours after being released from county jail Friday, Jim Harbaugh said he expects the 49ers outside linebacker to play Sunday against the Colts. Smith is listed as probable with a back injury on the team's injury report this week.
Harbaugh spent his Friday media session parrying reporters' questions about Smith's status. At first he said the team had not decided what would happen to the linebacker, who was arrested at 7 a.m. for suspicion of DUI and marijuana possession. Smith drove his car through a residential front yard where it became pinned against a tree.
Later Harbaugh said, "I expect Aldon, like today, he'll be back to work and playing on Sunday."
Last year, defensive end Demarcus Dobbs also was involved in a single-car accident the Friday before a game. Like Smith, Dobbs was arrested for suspicion of DUI and marijuana possession. Dobbs did not make the trip to St. Louis that weekend.
Asked why Smith's case was treated differently, Harbaugh said, "Demarcus wasn't here last year when we left for St. Louis." Pressed on why, if that were true, Dobbs couldn't have taken a later flight, Harbaugh said, "Like I said, I'm not going into specifics and the dissecting of what the policies are. If you want to question those, so be it."
Harbaugh said it also would be left up to the league, and not the team, to suspend Smith. "That's pretty exclusive to the league," he said. "Well, it is. They have exclusive rights to the consequences. And there will be consequences. There always is, good or bad. We all have consequences."
Meanwhile, more details have surfaced about the accident. Smith appears to have driven off the road this morning and into a residential yard where his vehicle became pinned against a tree. According to a neighbor, who declined to be identified, Smith continued to press against the accelerator for a period of time, causing the tires to spin and melt.
Defensive end Ray McDonald, who lives in the area, said that he "rolled by" to check on Smith.
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