The NFL finally announced the punishment for San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith. The NFL announced he will be suspended for the first nine games of the season.
This is significant for the Arizona Cardinals because they host the 49ers in Week 3.
Smith is just another player on that defense that will not play in that game. Linebacker NaVorro Bowman is on PUP, so he is out at least for the first six weeks of the year. Donte Whitner, one of their starting safeties a season ago, is now in Cleveland.
Add to that the fact that starting guard Alex Boone is holding out and you have a team missing stability.
Arizona has lost nine of their last 10 games against San Francisco. If they have any hope of winning the division, they will have to at least beat them in their home stadium. That task becomes a little easier because of the suspension of Smith.