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Aldon Smith's role could increase

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- There is a chance Aldon Smith’s repetitions will increase Sunday at New Orleans.

San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh expressed satisfaction with Smith’s play in a limited role Sunday in a 10-9 home loss to Carolina. Smith played about a dozen plays, mostly as an inside pass-rusher. It was his first game action since Week 3. He spent five weeks in a treatment center for substance abuse. He returned to practice last week.

The 49ers wanted to ease Smith back in. Harbaugh said he thought Smith played “fine” Sunday and the team will continue to get him “re-acclimated.”

The Saints are one of the NFL’s most aggressive pass teams, so Smith’s play may dramatically increase After Sunday’s game, he said he is ready to play on a full-time basis as he did before he left the team.

Harbaugh said Monday one of the reasons why Smith didn’t play much Sunday was that Carolina ran an “abnormally low” amount of plays that required the 49ers to play a nickel-defense.

CSN Bay Area reported linebacker Dan Skuta was seen wearing a protective walking boot Monday. If that is an issue that expends to Sunday, Smith will definitely be in more base-defensive sets.