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The Early Lead
Posted at 01:30 PM ET, 09/18/2012

49ers LB Aldon Smith played two days after serious car crash


Aldson Smith sacks Matthew Stafford during San Francisco’s 27-19 win on Sunday. (Thearon W. Henderson - Getty Images)
Aldon Smith flashed the play-making ability that has made him one of the NFL’s emerging defensive stars with seven tackles and a sack in San Francisco’s win against Detroit on Sunday.

But two days before the game, the second-year outside linebacker was in a hospital room getting stitches after he was involved in a serious car accident.

Smith was the passenger in a car that swerved into a dirt embankment on a road in the hills east of San Jose, according to a Sacramento Bee report. He was cut above the eye and received stitches at the team facility at Stanford Hospital. The driver, who reportedly swerved to avoid a deer in the road, was transported to San Jose Regional Medical Center to treat a “broken back,” according to the California Highway Patrol. He has not been identified.

The accident occurred at 11:45 p.m. Friday, and according to the report, alcohol was not a factor.

Smith was charged with DUI in Miami Beach in Jan. and suffered minor stab wounds at a June 30 party at his home at which two people were shot. The DUI charge was later reduced to reckless driving after he qualified for a diversion program that combines alcohol education, treatment and fines, as reported by the Sacramento Bee.

The 22-year-old’s physical play fits the mold of the 49ers’ hard-nosed defense, which kept the Packers in check in Week 1 and propelled the team to the NFL title game. He recorded 14 sacks and forced two fumbles as a rookie in 2011.

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