The meeting between 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith and Commissioner Roger Goodell, originally scheduled for today, instead took place Thursday.
Smith warmed up and was in uniform for his team’s preseason opener against the Ravens, which began at 7:37 p.m. local time, but did not start at his usual right outside linebacker spot. Neither did several other presumed starters, including linebacker Patrick Willis.
The 49ers arrived in Baltimore, a three-hour drive from Goodell’s New York office, on Tuesday night.
Smith and Goodell met to discuss Smith’s multiple run-ins with the law. He pleaded “no contest” earlier this year to both DUI and gun charges in San Jose and last month was sentenced to 12 days in a work program.
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Goodell is expected to discipline Smith, perhaps with a multiple-game suspension, to start the season. Smith missed five games last year following a DUI when he checked himself into an alcohol rehabilitation program, and Goodell has said that stint will be factored into any future discipline.
No time line has been given as far as when the commissioner will make an announcement. “I really haven’t been briefed on that,” coach Jim Harbaugh said after the game
Dan Skuta started at right outside linebacker. Skuta and Corey Lemonier, who had one of the 49ers’ three sacks Thursday, likely would fill in for Smith should he be suspended.
Dial delivers – Second-year defensive lineman Quinton Dial spent the offseason training alongside fellow linemen Justin Smith and Ray McDonald, and it showed on Thursday.
Dial, who played both left defensive end and nose tackle against the Ravens, led all defenders with 10 tackles and forced two fumbles in the first half, one that was recovered by the 49ers.
However, he also was one of only four healthy defensive linemen by game’s end.
The 49ers already were short on numbers to start the contest, then lost defensive ends Demarcus Dobbs (ankle) and Lawrence Okoye (ankle) to injuries. Dobbs started the game at right defensive end in place of Smith, who is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.
Okoye was injured in the second half when a teammate rolled onto his ankle. He said his X-rays were negative, but he needed assistance when trying to walk after the game.
The healthy 49ers linemen are Dial, Tank Carradine, Tony Jerod-Eddie and Mike Purcell, who started the game at nose tackle.
Afterward, Harbaugh was reluctant to praise any of his defensive linemen.
“We were getting pushed around, and the defense was out there a lot of plays,” he said. “... That’s probably the biggest concern right now. We got pushed around.”
Harbaugh indicated the 49ers might have to make additions to the roster on the defensive line.
Et cetera – Cornerback Chris Cook, who went four years in Minnesota without a regular-season interception, had one Thursday when he came down with an underthrown pass from Tyrod Taylor. Cook, who has been playing right cornerback, is vying with Perrish Cox to be the No. 3 cornerback this year.
• Rookie wide receiver Bruce Ellington was the 49ers’ kick returner to open the game and had the 49ers’ only punt return.
• Neither Michael Crabtree nor Brandon Lloyd played Thursday. Both veteran receivers have been dealing with minor injuries. Anquan Boldin and Stevie Johnson were the starting wideouts.