Harbaugh told San Francisco radio station 95.7 The Game that the 24-year-old Smith “looks great.” Smith went into treatment for substance abuse Sept. 23 — three days after his second drunken-driving arrest since entering the NFL in 2011.
“I met with him face to face today,” Harbaugh told the radio station Wednesday. “Aldon was in the building. … It was great to see the reaction of others who saw him and Aldon’s reaction of being back here with some of the guys. He looks great, and we’re having a good day. I mean, that was the object of today — let’s have a great day. I think that’s the way Aldon’s approaching things, each day, too … the goal to have a great day.”
With that approach, Harbaugh declined to put a timeline on Smith’s return. The 49ers are 5-0 since Smith — who had an NFL-leading 38.5 sacks since 2011 — has been out.
“I think the prudent thing to do is look at it day to day and have a goal of having a great day,” Harbaugh said. “He’s been taking that approach, really over the last five weeks. And it’s served him well, and he’s made quite a bit of progress. So, I don’t see any reason to change that and now flip a switch and start saying, ‘This needs to take place next week and this the next week, and let’s predict how it’s going to be three or four or five weeks from now.’ Why would we do that when the other process is going so well?”
San Francisco general manager Trent Baalke said last week that he is hopeful Smith will play this season but that the team wants to see “progress” from its young linebacker.
NBC Bay Area reported Smith surrendered himself as expected Tuesday and then made bail on felony weapons charges stemming from a June 2012 party at his house. He goes to court Nov. 12 on those charges. Smith’s first court appearance for the September drunken-driving arrest is Monday.
- Covered AFC West for five seasons for ESPN.com
- Covered Broncos for Denver Post
- Also covered Vikings, Packers, Seahawks