The San Francisco 49ers are not depending on linebacker Aldon Smith to come back 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.
Coach Jim Harbaugh would not say this week if he expects Smith back this season.
Smith was previously arrested on suspicion of DUI in January 2012 in Miami after the 49ers lost the NFC championship game.
He set a franchise record with 19.5 sacks last season and helped the 49ers reach the Super Bowl.