49ers.com confirmed that San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith has been suspended “for violating the league’s policy and program for substances of abuse and the league’s personal conduct policy.” Following his nine-game suspension, Smith is eligible to rejoin the roster on November 10.
Smith’s suspension will certainly hinder the Niners’ stingy defense. LB NaVorro Bowman tore his ACL and MCL deep into the playoffs, and is on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list so he will be sidelined for at least the first six games of the regular season.
The combination of Smith and Bowman is integral to the Niners’ famous defensive unit. Without the duo, the rest of the front seven and secondary will have to excel.