The NFL announced Friday that it has suspended 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith for nine games. The long suspension stems from Smith violating the league's personal conduct policy and the substance abuse policy. Smith has already lost his appeal. He will be eligible to return for San Fran's game on Nov. 10 versus the Saints.
The Niners will be without two of their best defenders, Smith and linebacker Navorro Bowman , for at least half of the season. This only increases the thinking that they will have to be more explosive on offense this year. Colin Kaepernick , while he hasn't looked great in the preseason, is a very nice grab in the seventh or eighth round.