Plan to play Smith comes as no shock

September, 20, 2013
9/20/13
6:05
PM ET
Should we be surprised the San Francisco 49ers plan to play star pass-rusher Aldon Smith on Sunday at home against Indianapolis?

Smith
San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh said Friday he expects Smith to play. Smith was arrested Friday morning on suspicion of driving under the influence and marijuana possession. He was booked into county jail. He posted bail in time to practice with the team Friday. It is Smith’s second arrest for DUI and he’s had other legal issues since being drafted No. 7 overall in 2011.

Still, it's hardly a shock the 49ers plan on playing Smith -- who has 3.5 sacks this season and 37 sacks in 34 NFL games -- Sunday against the Colts. Teams pay players to play.

These things happen all the time in sports. It’s routine.

Smith will very likely get a league suspension. Perhaps the 49ers are figuring they will lose Smith for a time because of this arrest, so why add to it?

Yes. The 49ers didn’t bring along Demarcus Dobbs on a trip last season after a similar incident. Unlike Smith, Dobbs is not a star. Is there a double standard at play? Of course there is, but that’s the way the NFL works.

I am not condoning anything here. But the fact that Smith is likely to play Sunday is just a fact of life in the NFL.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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