49ers coach, GM made decision to play Aldon Smith on Sunday

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Smith is checking into a rehab facility, but Jim Harbaugh still wanted the pass rusher to be on the field for Sunday's game.

San Francisco 49ers defensive end will take an indefinite leave of absence from the team after being arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence early Friday morning.

Despite the incident, Smith practiced hours after his arrest and was on the field when the 49ers lost to the Colts, 27-7, on Sunday afternoon. After the game, the team curiously announced that Smith would take a leave of absence from the team and check into rehab. Jason LaCanfora of CBS reported that Smith wished to finish out the week with his team before seeking help for his issues.

But Ed Werder of ESPN reported that the final decision to play Smith on Sunday fell primarily on the shoulders of 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke. That's what 49ers president Jed York told Werder, but York also added that he didn't disagree with the decision.

Meanwhile, York said it didn't make sense to sit Smith down while still paying him.

To recap, Smith has not been suspended by the 49ers or the NFL for his indiscretion, though league discipline is not out of the question just yet. Rather, Smith is taking a voluntary leave of absence to seek help for his issues.

Smith recorded the second-most sacks in the NFL last year and has 3.5 sacks in three games so far in 2013.

UPDATE: Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network is reporting that the 49ers will put Aldon Smith on the non-football injury Monday or Tuesday when he checks into rehab.

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