SANTA CLARA -- Aldon Smith's name is popping up in non-football related matters almost as often as he's getting to the quarterback, an impressive notion considering Smith leads the 49ers' with 7.5 sacks this year -- good for seventh in the NFL.
Over the 49ers' bye week, though, his name went viral outside of football for the fourth time in the last 11 months.
"Really that whole thing was so absurd," Smith said of the rumors that he was jumped in Columbia, Missouri. "That didn't happen. It's one of those things."
REWIND: Aldon Smith denies getting jumped
His coach was dismissive about Smith's latest off-field incident Monday.
"What Aldon said to us was the same as what he said publicly," head coach Jim Harbaugh said. "And you also tend to take a man at his word. So, I don't know that there's anything more to add."
There is one thing to add, because whatever happened to Smith outside the El Rancho in Columbia early last Thursday, it's helping the second-year player realize an important lesson.
"It's the nature of the business," Smith said. "It's the way the world works, media works. I think bad news circulates quicker than good news. That's something I don't have control over."
The 49ers have steadfastly supported their outside linebacker in each of his dust-ups with the lawmedia. And while there have been no subsequent problems from any of his prior incidents, there is no doubt that Smith should avoid adding to his growing file.
"I do have control over my actions and (need to) take care of myself," Smith acknowledged.
With control over his own actions and the knowledge that bad news travels fast, you could say that Smith is growing up.
"Yeah, I hope so," Smith said before a brief laugh. "That type of stuff? I mean yeah. I'm growing. I'm growing up. I'm learning from my actions. I'm maturing."
Smith was arrested and charged with a DUI in Miami Beach in late January. He suffered multiple stab wounds at a house party he hosted in July. And he suffered a laceration above his right eye when he was involved in a car accident in September; he was the passenger in a vehicle that swerved off the road to avoid a deer and ended up on its side.
Off-field incidents aside, Smith can't wait for the second half of the 49ers' season, as he made clear after the team's first post-bye week practice Tuesday.
"You can definitely see the excitement," Smith said. "Everyone's happy to be back."
Everyone, except for maybe St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford, who will stare down Smith and San Francisco's vaunted defense Sunday.