The 49ers announced Thursday that linebacker Aldon Smith has been activated from the reserve/non-football injury list. Smith hasn't played since Week 3 and has spent much of the past six weeks in a rehab facility to treat his alcohol and drug abuse. NFL.com's Michael Silver reports that it's "no guarantee" Smith plays once the 49ers come out of their Week 9 bye, and that he will have to "earn his role back." The 49ers face the Panthers in Week 10.
Smith is obviously not out of the legal woods. He turned himself in to authorities Tuesday night on felony weapons charges and is scheduled to be in court Nov. 12. Any legal resolution will most likely come after the season. It's unclear if Smith will still be suspended by the league. From a fantasy standpoint, he should definitely help the 49ers' defense, especially its pass rush.