As news of Aldon Smith’s nine-game suspension rippled through the sports world today, I have seen a lot of wringing of hands about how the San Francisco 49ers will possibly survive the season without him (in spite of the 49ers going undefeated last season during Smith’s five-game absence).
So, to abate further unnecessary concern, I thought I’d direct everyone’s attention to two silver linings about Smith’s suspension.
1). When Aldon Smith is due to return in week eleven, half the regular season will already be over. And during that first half of the season, it is not out of the realm of possibility that the 49ers may lose another defensive lineman (or two, or three) to injury. Aldon Smith may actually come back at just the right time to replace an injured and tired player.
2). When Aldon Smith returns, he–unlike the rest of the defensive line–will be well rested. While the rest of his teammates have been getting banged up for nine games, Smith will be coming back fresh.
Additionally, let us not forget that NaVarro Bowman, San Francisco’s premier linebacker, is expected to return from his gruesome knee injury sometime in the mid to late portion of the season. If this happens, then the 49ers will be welcoming back two of their stalwart defenders just in time for the final stretch of the regular season. And that, fellow 49er fans, is good news.