Following Aldon Smith's second arrest for DUI, the 49ers are in a position to act now or wait for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to mete out his punishment.
Only two days before the game with the Colts, Smith's absence would surely hurt the chances of applying pressure to Andrew Luck. But the team is better off acting now, sitting Smith for Sunday and at least the following week for PR reasons. The commissioner is sure to suspend Smith for a few games and the 49ers can start the clock that gets Smith back on the field.
Also, for the safety of others, getting on this now can help Smith get the help he obviously needs.
From a goodwill standpoint, Jed York can and should make a statement about how members of the organization should conduct themselves. But would the decision be as easy if Smith was arrested two days before the NFC Championship game in Seattle? That's a question 49ers fans hope never has to be answered.
By taking swift, decisive action now, the 49ers can still compete for a title and possibly save lives; the latter should not be included as a mere footnote.