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Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke ultimately decided to let Smith play before he entered rehab.

Aldon Smith is taking a leave of absence to address a personal matter,” Baalke said in a statement. “The 49ers organization both respects and supports Aldon’s decision and commends him for taking responsibility for his actions. The long-term well-being of our players is paramount and we will stand by Aldon as he works toward addressing this issue. Due to the private nature of the matter, we will have no further comment.”

His 49ers teammates were trying their best not to let the situation become a distraction. San Francisco (1-2) has a quick turnaround to face division foe St. Louis on the road Thursday night.

“Coach decided to let him play, and he was out there and made some plays,” safety Donte Whitner said. “I don’t think guys were out there thinking about Aldon being arrested.”

Earlier this month, Smith and former teammate Delanie Walker were named in a lawsuit filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court by a Northern California man who said he was shot at a party at Smith’s house on June 29, 2012.

The players charged a $10 admission and $5 per drink, the lawsuit said. Smith and now-Titans tight end Walker, 29 were allegedly intoxicated on Smith’s balcony when they fired gunshots in the air while trying to end the party, the lawsuit said.

Before the 2012 home opener last September, Smith was the passenger in a car during an accident in Santa Clara County in which the driver swerved to avoid hitting a deer. Smith sustained a cut beneath his right eyebrow. He apologized and insisted he had grown up.

Asked about Smith on Monday at Titans headquarters, Walker said he is getting more attention because of his status as one of the best in the NFL at his position.

“I pray for him because he is a good kid,” Walker said. “He’s just making some bad choices now.”