The 49ers may get some good news regarding star linebacker Aldon Smith.
ESPN.com is reporting that Smith’s decision to voluntarily seek alcohol treatment could work in his favor when the NFL decides whether to suspend him for his off-the-field issues.
Speaking to reporters while in Europe, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said that Smith’s treatment will be considered when weighing any discipline.
“Yes, it will be a factor, for sure,” Goodell said.
The game in London against the Jaguars will be the fifth ballgame Smith has missed since checking himself into a treatment facility on September 23.
Goodell said that the point of suspensions is to help players, not to punish them, and so Smith deserves credit for seeking help on his own.
“Certainly, the issue here isn’t to discipline players. It’s to stop the behavior,” Goodell said. “Aldon has voluntarily said, ‘I need help.’ We’re obviously there to support him, and the 49ers did a great job getting him into a facility to try to get help. We support that.”
Don’t get to happy 49ers fans.
Smith is still facing felony weapons charges, and there is no rehab program for that.