Three and Out: Aldon activated; what's next?
Aldon Smith has been cleared for full practice and will be on the field when the 49ers start practicing next week. (AP)
The 49ers’ on-field plan with All-Pro outside linebacker Aldon Smith consists of assessing his condition to play football on a daily basis, 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said Friday.
And Baalke said the 49ers have a detailed off-the-field plan for their troubled star, who was recently released from an in-patient care facility for treatment of substance abuse.
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“There are things off the field that are going to have to continue to be addressed,” Baalke said on his weekly appearance on “Bucher & Towny” on San Francisco radio station 95.7 The Game.
“And those are things we’ve sat down and we’ve shared, we’ve gone through and gotten everybody on the same page. And we’ll keep that plan between us internally, but there is a plan in place and it’s a well-structured plan, and we are on the same page, and we’ll continue to monitor it day to day.”
The 49ers activated Smith from the non-football illness list on Thursday. The NFL granted the 49ers a one-week roster exemption, Baalke confirmed. The exemption expires on Wednesday, at which point the 49ers must make a roster move to open space on the 53-man roster. Smith will be available to play Nov. 10 against the Carolina Panthers at Candlestick Park.
After the mandatory four days off for 49ers players during the bye week, the team is scheduled to return to the practice field next week. Smith has been cleared for full practices, Baalke said.
But when asked if Smith is in physical condition to play against the Panthers, Baalke said he could not answer that question.
“We haven’t had any practices,” Baalke said. “He’s been in, and he’s worked out a couple of times. But that’ll be something we’ll have to gauge as we get onto the practice field again and start going. But he looks good. Physically, he’s been able to keep up with some things. But he’s been away from the game for 30 days. So we’ll have to see where he’s at when he gets on the field.”
Smith last played on Sept. 22 against the Indianapolis Colts, just two days after a DUI arrest. On Sept. 23, he took a voluntary leave of absence to enter into a treatment facility. Smith missed the past five games.
“You’re going to have to get into game shape,” Baalke said. “And we’re not even worried about that, to be honest with you at this point in time. I can’t stress that enough, it’s day to day. We’re going to look at each day for what it is and make a determination after each day what the next day is going to bring.”
Baalke said he detected a “different perspective, a different outlook” from Smith during their face-to-face meetings this week.
When asked about the differences in Smith since going through the treatment program, Baalke answered, “There are a lot of things that are very personal that him and I have talked about. He’s in a better place. I think he’s more comfortable with where he’s at as an individual, a man, a young man, trying to figure out life.”
Baalke added, “We had a lot of things to talk about, obviously, when you haven’t seen someone in a length of time we haven’t seen Aldon. I think his mind is clear. He’s very positive. And he understands this is a process and he’s willing to put the time in to make things happen.”