San Francisco 49ers linebacker takes indefinite leave of absence
Aldon Smith to seek help after Friday arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence
San Francisco 49ers will be without linebacker Aldon Smith for an indefinite period after it was announced by team owner Jed York that he won't be with the team when they face the St. Louis Rams on Thursday.
York made the announcement after Sunday's 27-7 loss to the Indianapolis Colts at Candlestick Park.
Smith was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence on Friday morning, but despite this was kept on the active roster and played against the Colts.
The move has not been described as a suspension and reports suggest that the 23-year-old is voluntarily entering a treatment facility either this Monday or Tuesday after which he will be placed on the team's non-football injury list.
"He will take an indefinite leave of absence," York told reporters Sunday.
Smith, who is out of jail on bail, made a short statement to reporters at his locker after the Colts game.
"First off, I wanted to apologise to the team, to the organisation, my family everybody I let down," he said.
"I also wanted to let it be known that this is a problem, and this is something I will get fixed and do everything in my power to never let this happen again.
"I also wanted to let everybody know once again that I am sorry, and like I said, this won't happen again."
It is the second time that Smith has been arrested for driving under the influence, the first time being in 2012 in Miami.
York added his backing for Smith saying: "I will support Aldon as long as he's willing to work at this and fight to get better. I believe Aldon wants to tackle this problem, and we're going to do everything we can do to help him with this."