San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith has been suspended for nine games by the NFL after a series of off-field legal issues.
A statement Friday from the league said Smith had violated the NFL’s substance abuse and personal conduct policies.
Smith won’t be eligible to return until Nov. 10, the day after the 49ers’ game against the New Orleans Saints.
“Our organization has known this decision would come and we have prepared for it as a team,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. “Aldon has taken responsibility for his actions and has continued to show growth personally and professionally. We will continue to support him, but it is time to put this matter behind us and focus on the season ahead.”
The 24-year-old Smith, one of the NFL’s top pass rushers, missed five games last season to undergo treatment at an inpatient facility following his DUI arrest Sept. 20.
Just before training camp began last month, the 24-year-old Smith was sentenced to serve three years of probation and to spend 11 days with a work crew after he pleaded no contest to drunken driving and weapons charges.
He has repeatedly said he has been sober since his DUI arrest last September.
• Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jerome Simpson has been suspended for three games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, his second such punishment in three seasons.
Green-Ellis among cuts
Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis was released by the Cincinnati Bengals, among a handful of players out of jobs as NFL teams started to trim their rosters to get down to the mandatory 53 players today.
Also among the announced cuts: Buffalo punter Brian Moorman and quarterback Jordan Palmer, Jacksonville center Mike Brewster, Atlanta linebacker Pat Angerer and Chicago running back Jordan Lynch, a former Heisman trophy finalist as a quarterback at Northern Illinois.