San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith received a nine-game suspension this offseason for multiple violations of NFL policies. Week 7's 49ers/Broncos matchup will mark the seventh game of his punishment.
However, according to Mike Florio of NBC's Pro Football Talk, several league sources are indicating that the suspension could be lifted a game or two early:
Of course, there’s a chance that plenty of things will happen, including but not limited to the emergence of winged primates from a place from which winged primates don’t normally emerge. With Smith, a lifting of the suspension would be a major surprise, given that the possibility of the suspension being lifted early wasn’t mentioned when Smith’s nine-game suspension was announced.
Then again, other aspects of Smith’s suspension weren’t announced, or explained. For example, Smith had appeal rights that apparently were waived by the player. Likewise, the league twisted its policies regarding player banishment from the team facility to allow Smith to continue to show up during his suspension, even though players suspended under the personal conduct policy always are ordered to stay away until fully reinstated.
Smith could very well have struck a bit of a side deal with the league, Florio points out, potentially slicing a game or two off of his suspension for exhibiting stellar behavior off the field.
San Francisco has a bye this coming week, so it wouldn't be completely surprising if these rumors come to reality some time in the next two weeks.
MORE NFL NEWS:Back to the San Francisco 49ers Newsfeed