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NFL roundup: 49ers not counting on Smith return

The SportsXchange

The San Francisco 49ers are not counting on linebacker Aldon Smith returning to the team this season, according to ESPN.

Smith is on indefinite leave from the team because he is receiving treatment for substance abuse at an in-patient rehabilitation facility after a DUI arrest in September.

He is also facing three felony charges of possessing illegal assault weapons stemming from a 2012 party at his home.

The 49ers believe Smith has a significant amount of work to do to turn his life around before returning to the football field. The team hopes the 24-year-old will benefit from the help he is receiving so that he can salvage his life and career.

Even if Smith does return to the team this season, the 49ers realize how tenuous the situation is because Smith still may face a suspension from the NFL and is one incident away from a one-year ban. Discipline from the league could be pushed back to next season after his legal problems are settled.

Smith is on the reserve/non-football injury list.

---The NFL Players Association wants the NFL to investigate Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano and his possible role in leaking information about former quarterback Josh Freeman's status in the league's substance-abuse program.

USA Today reported Saturday night that the union asked the NFL for help to form a joint investigation so union officers could question Schiano and other Buccaneers officials.

---Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Johnthan Banks played Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles, despite being diagnosed with MRSA last week.

Guard Carl Nicks, who had a reoccurrence of the infection, did not play.

---New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski did not play Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints.

Gronkowski practiced all week, but the team did not clear him to play. He is recovering from multiple back and forearm surgeries.

---Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub suffered a right leg injury during the third quarter of Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams.

Schaub's lower leg twisted underneath him on a sack by Rams defensive end Chris Long. Schaub was able to walk to the sideline but was replaced by backup T.J. Yates.

Houston fans cheered when the embattled Schaub was hurt and Yates trotted onto the field to take over.

---Philadelphia Eagles left tackle Jason Peters was taken to the locker room for X-rays after injuring his right shoulder in the third quarter.

Peters was replaced by Allen Barbre.

---Green Bay Packers wide receivers James Jones and Randall Cobb sustained leg injuries in the first half of Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Jones injured his left knee in the first quarter while blocking for running back Eddie Lacy. He did not return.

Cobb hurt his right knee after he caught a 15-yard pass on a drive near the end of the first half. He left on a cart.

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