San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith is out indefinitely as he seeks treatment for issues related to his arrest Friday on suspicion of driving under the influence and marijuana possession, the team announced Sunday.
Smith, who will not play Thursday against the St. Louis Rams, apologized for his actions after the 49ers' loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
"First off, I wanted to apologize to the team, the organization, my family and everybody I let down,” Smith said. “I also wanted to let it be known that this is a problem and it's something that I will get fixed, and that I'll do everything in my power to make sure that this never happens again.
"I also wanted to let everybody know that once again I'm sorry."
Jed York, the 49ers' chief executive, defended the team's decision to play Smith in Sunday's loss and said the organization is going to let Smith be in charge of pursuing his treatment options. Smith reportedly will enter a treatment facility this week.
“I think Aldon is going to take steps on his own,” York said. “We're not worried about that."
There's a good chance the NFL will suspend Smith for his latest run-in with the law, and some may consider that giving Smith the autonomy to pursue his treatment options could come back to haunt the franchise. York says he's prepared for that scenario.
"Aldon is willing to fight for himself and try to make this right, and I will see it through, and I will support him," York said. "I will take any shots that anybody wants to direct at the organization. They can direct at me, and I will support Aldon as long as he is willing to work at this and fight to get better.”
Smith, who turns 24 on Wednesday, had a franchise-record 19 1/2 sacks last season and is a key cog in the San Francisco defense. The longer he stays sidelined, the foggier the 49ers' Super Bowl chances become.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.