Friday September 5th, 2014

San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Ray McDonald will play in the team's season opener Sunday, head coach Jim Harbaugh said at a press conference Friday.

McDonald was arrested last weekend on felony domestic violence charges, just days after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced a stricter discipline policy for domestic violence.

BANKS: NFL Week 1 picks: 49ers-Cowboys, Colts-Broncos and more

As of Wednesday, charges against McDonald had not yet been presented to the San Jose district attorney and the case was still under investigation. Harbaugh said Wednesday that McDonald was likely to play in Week 1 in respect of his due process, and Goodell said Thursday the NFL will let the legal process play out before ruling on any punishment for McDonald.

Under terms of the new policy, domestic violence offenders can be suspended six times for a first offense and can be banned from the NFL for life for a second offense. The new policy came in reaction to backlash against the NFL's decision to suspend Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice just two games for his domestic violence incident involving his then-fiancee.

McDonald, San Francisco's third-round draft pick in 2007, has made 16.5 sacks and 171 tackles in seven seasons with the team. The 49ers open the season on the road against the Dallas Cowboys.

Ben Estes





SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.