Roger Goodell says Aldon Smith’s rehab could factor into NFL discipline

Ever since Aldon Smith was popped for a DUI, his second such arrest, last month, one of the biggest concerns 49ers fans have had (hopefully after concern for Smith’s health and well-being) has been over the NFL’s potentially looming disciplinary action for his laundry list of off-the-field issues. Smith is also facing felony weapons charges and is the subject of a lawsuit stemming from that crazy party at his house last year where two people were shot and he was stabbed. Smith’s lawyer has been busy!

Smith (for some reason) played in a game two days after his latest DUI arrest but then voluntarily checked himself into rehab for a presumed substance-abuse issue and has not played since. And Roger Goodell said Saturday that might play into Smith’s favor when the NFL decides to hand out its punishment. From SF Gate:

“Certainly,” Goodell said. “The issue here is not to discipline players. The issue is to stop the behavior. And Aldon … has voluntarily said ‘I need help.’ We are obviously there to support him and the 49ers did a great job getting him into a facility to try to get that help. We all support that. So, yes, it will be a factor, for sure.”

Smith will be missing his fifth game Sunday since checking into rehab. It’s still unclear when he’ll return to the team. Any potential suspension isn’t expected to be handed down until 2014, after the legal process has run its course.

[SF Gate]

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