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NFL Roundup: LB Smith returns to 49ers

The SportsXchange

The San Francisco 49ers activated linebacker Aldon Smith from the non-football injury list on Thursday.

Smith, who was on indefinite leave from the team, has been charged with three felony counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon stemming from a party at his home in June 2012. He turned himself in to Santa Clara County authorities this week after leaving an in-patient rehabilitation facility and immediately posted $75,000 bail, according to multiple reports.

His surrender was part of a plea deal for the 24-year-old Smith, who is due back in court Nov. 19. He also has a Nov. 12 court date on a DUI charge.

Smith has not played in a game since Week 3. The 49ers have a bye this weekend and then play host to Carolina the following Sunday. Smith will be eligible to play against the Panthers, but there was no immediate word of when the 49ers expect him to return to football activities.

Smith was receiving treatment for substance abuse at an in-patient rehabilitation facility after a DUI arrest in September.

---Fantex Brokerage Services announced Thursday that it intends to sell shares of 49ers tight Vernon Davis' future earnings.

Earlier, this month, the company did the same with Houston Texans running back Arian Foster.

Fantex CEO Buck French told ESPN.com that it paid Davis $4 million to the rights to 10 percent of his future earnings, which includes his playing contract, endorsements and income after he retires from football.

Fantex said it will create stock that allows the general public to invest in Davis. In 2010, Davis signed a five-year deal with the 49ers in which $23 million is guaranteed. His base salary this season is $6 million.

Davis, who is in his eighth season, has 518 receiving yards with seven touchdowns.

---Defensive lineman Jay Ratliff, released by the Dallas Cowboys with failed physical designation, visited the Kansas City Chiefs on Tuesday.

According to multiple reports, the 32-year-old visited the Chiefs and Chicago Bears. NFL Network and the Miami Herald reported the Dolphins were expected to show interest in Ratliff.

His health -- and passing a physical -- are critical to getting a deal done with Ratliff. The undersized yet disruptive lineman played nose tackle in the Cowboys' 3-4 scheme but was not cleared to play with Dallas this season. The Cowboys switched to a 4-3 defense in the offseason.

---Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll ruled out wide receiver Percy Harvin from making his season debut this Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Carroll told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Thursday that the injured wide receiver is not ready.

"Percy won't play this week," he said. "He's getting close, but not close enough."

Harvin must be activated by Week 11 against the Minnesota Vikings or else he will not be eligible to play this season. He was placed on the physically unable to perform list with a torn labrum in his hip at the beginning of the season and returned to practice following the Seahawks' Oct. 17 game against the Arizona Cardinals.

---NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said in a statement Thursday that he discussed the comments that Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather made earlier this week about taking out opponents' knees.

"I spoke to Brandon. He is passionate about the game, and I know he is sorry for what he said," Smith said. "He is concentrating on helping his team win the rest of the season. Brandon knows that all players have a responsibility to each other and to play within the rules of the game."

Meriweather was back with the team on Monday after a one-game suspension for illegal hits, and back in the spotlight this week after the comments he made at his locker to begin the work week. Meriweather said that because of the suspension -- for leading with his helmet and repeatedly hitting defenseless receivers -- he would have to change his style.

"I guess I've just got to take people's knees out," Meriweather said.

---Wide receiver Andrew Hawkins was activated from injured reserve seven days after he returned to practice with the Cincinnati Bengals on a roster exemption.

Hawkins was on injured reserve because of an ankle injury suffered during the preseason. He was designated for possible return under NFL rules adopted last season.

A third-year pro, Hawkins saw action in 14 games last season and was the team's third-leading receiver with 51 receptions for 533 yards and four touchdowns.
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