San Francisco 49ers fans probably got a little excited when they heard the NFL and NFL Player’s Association passed the new drug policy and all players suspended under previous act will be reinstated. That meant they were getting their prized pass-rusher Aldon Smith back seven games earlier than they expected. Sadly this is not the case. While Smith did receive a nine-game suspension for repeated substance-abuse violations he will not be reinstated until his suspension is up. Smith was given the nine-game suspension right before the regular season kicked off. Smith received four games for his second DUI and another five games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.
Without their All-Pro pass rusher the 49ers defense has experienced difficulties getting to the quarterback and as a result their pass defense has taken a major dip. Add Smith’s absence with the absence of another All-pro, linebacker Navorro Bowman who is still recovering from that nasty ACL tear he suffered in the NFC Championship game last year. Bowman is expected back by Week 8 the earliest so it is going to be tough sledding until then. On the bright side Smith isn’t the only Pro Bowler left on the sidelines. Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon will also have to serve his lengthy suspension for repeated offenses of the league’s substance abuse policy. Gordon got his ban reduced from 16 games down to 10, still a lengthy suspension that leaves his team short-handed as well. 49ers and Browns fans just pray that these are the last games both these players will miss for giving into their vices.