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Can 49ers overcome extended loss of Aldon Smith?

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The 49ers knew this was coming. But will the reality be too much to overcome? The nine-game suspension of All-Pro linebacker Aldon Smith announced Friday by the NFL will make the Super Bowl path of a team that has played in three straight NFC Championship games all the more treacherous. San Francisco is already missing its other best defensive player -- All-Pro linebacker NaVorro Bowman -- for at least half the season. Bowman is recovering from a torn ACL suffered in last year's NFC title game in Seattle. "Nine games? Are you kidding me? That's cruel. That's ridiculous," former 49ers running back Roger Craig said. "I think it's a spinoff from those other cases, ...

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