Monday, April 21, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

49ers’ Harbaugh sounds unconcerned about Smith

SANTA CLARA — San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said Monday that linebacker Aldon Smith spoke with general manager Trent Baalke about what happened during the bye week while the player visited his former college, Missouri.

The 23-year-old Smith denied on Twitter a report last Thursday that he had been attacked earlier in the day outside a restaurant in Columbia, Mo., saying, “Didn’t get jumped — stop asking.” There was no formal police report filed.

Earlier, he had posted this tweet: “Want to clear up rumors of me getting jumped, I’m ok and doing well! Como! I missed you. Go Tigers!!”

“I tend not to believe everything I read on the Internet,” Harbaugh said. “Trent Baalke talked to Aldon. What’s been relayed to me and any conversations are just that, private conversations. … What Aldon said to us was the same as what he said publicly. Also, you tend to take a man at his word. I don’t think there’s anything more to add.”

San Francisco’s players were due back to work Tuesday as the NFC West-leading 49ers (6-2) begin preparations for Sunday’s home game against the division rival St. Louis Rams.

Smith surely will be asked about the situation this week. This is just the latest off-field issue faced by the second-year pro, the seventh overall draft pick in 2011 out of Mizzou who set a franchise rookie record with 14 sacks last season — also most among NFL rookies for 2011.

In September just before the team’s home opener, Smith was the passenger in a car accident in Santa Clara County in which the driver swerved to avoid hitting a deer. Smith sustained a cut beneath his right eyebrow.

He was stabbed at his home in June, then apologized at the start of training camp in late July by saying, “letting everybody down was probably the saddest part.” He also was charged in late January with driving under the influence in Miami Beach — just six days after San Francisco’s turnaround season ended with a 20-17 overtime loss in the NFC title game to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants.

Smith has combined on 29 tackles and has 7½ sacks and one forced fumble while starting all eight games this year.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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