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Monday, September 23, 2013
Updated: September 24, 9:30 AM ET
Aldon Smith out to deal with issues

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers will be without star pass-rusher Aldon Smith for an extended period of time after putting the third-year All-Pro on the non-football illness list Monday.

He is leaving the team to resolve a personal matter. Smith was arrested on drunk-driving charges Friday morning.

Smith played in the team's 27-7 home loss to Indianapolis on Sunday. Afterward, he apologized to the team, and CEO Jed York said the linebacker was leaving the team indefinitely. It has been widely reported that Smith is checking into a treatment center.

"I am taking a leave of absence to address my health," Smith said in a statement released by the team. "I am sorry that I have affected my team, my family and the organization. I will do everything in my power to handle this situation the best way possible. I appreciate the support of the 49ers and our fans."

An NFL spokesman said there is no minimum or maximum time Smith can be on the non-injury list. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Smith is expected to be away from the team about a month.

Aaron Rodgers
Aldon Smith, seen here sacking Aaron Rodgers in Week 1, was arrested Friday on suspicion of driving under the influence.
 

The 49ers will fly to London after playing at Tennessee on Oct. 20, then have their bye week after playing the Jaguars. An NFLPA source said the union is working with Smith so that he gets the help he needs.

The 49ers can add to the 53-man roster while Smith is out. Under NFL rules, the team can choose to pay or not to pay Smith, who makes about $99,000 a week.

York and 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said they will stand by Smith during this time.

"Aldon Smith is taking a leave of absence to address a personal matter," 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement Monday. "The 49ers organization both respects and supports Aldon's decision and commends him for taking responsibility for his actions. The long-term well-being of our players is paramount and we will stand by Aldon as he works toward addressing this issue. Due to the private nature of the matter, we will have no further comment."

Harbaugh said Dan Skuta, Ahmad Brooks and Corey Lemonier will help fill the void left by Smith, who had a franchise-best 19.5 sacks last season.

"I have confidence in those guys and know they'll do a good job,'' Harbaugh said. "Go with the guys we've got.''

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.