Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports[/caption]
The San Francisco 49ers mighty defense is dealing with a lot of issues to start off this NFL season. Linebacker Navorro Bowman will miss the first six games of the season, while DE Glenn Dorsey is out for the year with a torn bicep.
Now the team’s premier pass rusher, Aldon Smith has been suspended for nine games according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
NFL officially has announced the nine-game suspension for SF's Aldon Smith.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 29, 2014
Smith has been one of the NFL’s top pass rushers since entering the league. He has accumulated 42 sacks in 43 games, an outstanding rate. But he has also been a constant headache for the NFL.
He has had a number of violations of the NFL’s substance abuse and personal conduct policies. Most recently, he plead guilty to three counts of illegal weapons possession and two counts of drunken driving. Last season Smith missed five games after checking himself into a rehab center.
According to ESPN’s Ed Werder, Smith’s suspension stretching to nine games is due to multiple infractions on both policies:
Source says Aldon Smith 9-game suspension broke down this way: 4 games substance-abuse violation, 5 games personal-conduct violations
— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) August 29, 2014
The 49ers have one of the deepest rosters in the NFL, but even they will have difficulties replacing the production and talent that Smith provided.
San Francisco is set to open the season next week, in one of the premier games of opening weekend, in Dallas against the Cowboys. Smith will be eligible to return Week 11 for the 49ers game against the New York Giants.