Sunday, September 22, 2013
Locker Room Buzz: San Francisco 49ers
By Bill Williamson
SAN FRANCISCO -- Observed in the locker room after the San Francisco 49ers’ 27-7 loss to the Indianapolis Colts:
Surreal scene: The 49ers were pounded for the second straight game, but the focus was on embattled pass-rusher Aldon Smith. He made a statement to the media after the game, his first public words since he was arrested Friday morning on suspicion of driving under the influence and marijuana possession.
"I apologize to the team and the organization," Smith said. "This is something that I will get fixed. I will do everything in my power to make sure this never happens again."
Smith is expected to receive treatment for substance abuse. 49ers CEO Jed York said Smith will not be with the team Thursday in St. Louis, and he will be away indefinitely.
"I believe Aldon wants to tackle this problem, and we’re going to do everything we can do to help him with this," York said. "I am willing to support Aldon as long as he is willing to work at this and fight to get better."
Willis injured: Star linebacker Patrick Willis declined to talk after the game. He left in the third quarter with a groin injury. The team did not announce the severity of the injury.
Turning point: Safety Donte Whitner acknowledged that the team has reached a pivotal point in the season but added that the “sky is not falling.”
Whitner was hit with a 15-yard penalty for using the crown of his helmet on the first offensive play of the game. It helped lead to a Colts touchdown. Whitner said he led with his shoulder and that any big hit in the NFL these days is going to result in a penalty.