Tha Sports Junkies 101

Raiders Eye Smith’s Return to the Darkside


The Oakland Raiders are hopeful to get Aldon Smith back on the field this week

Aldon Smith looks to return to the Oakland Raiders after being suspended last season for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. Though he was suspended for the majority of this season, Oakland still signed him to a one-year deal in hopes that he would be back to play at the end of November. Unfortunately, Smith has struggled to set a meeting with Commissioner Goodell or a high-ranking official with the power to reinstate him. Ian Rapoport, also tweeted stating that upon reinstatement, Aldon Smith would be ready to play this Thursday at  against Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium.

Smith would provide a boost to the Raiders pass rush, helping the inconsistent Raiders defense that is among the worst in the NFL. Oakland allows the ninth most passing yards per game, the fourth most rushing yards, and ranks third overall in total yards given up per game, sitting at an abysmal 390 .

The return of  Mario Edwards Jr. should help the defensive line, but  Aldon Smith has left his mark in this league. In 2012, Smith was an All-Pro as he posted 19.5 sacks and three forced fumbles. With teams already having to account for Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin, Aldon Smith could be primed for a lot of opportunities to rush the passer.

At this point, Smith and the Raiders are waiting to hear from the commissioners office regarding the outside linebacker’s status. Aldon Smith applied for reinstatement on the third of October, with the intended time for Commissioner Goodell to come decision coming and going on December 2nd.

However, Goodell has not reached a decision and the application describes that the commissioner should come to a decision within the 60 day period, it is not mandatory nor enforced that he must. Goodell’s uncertainty is justified, given Smith’s wild past which includes but is not limited to being named in multiple lawsuits for house party incidents occurring at his home in 2012, misdemeanor DUI and felony gun charges in 2013, falsely reporting a bomb threat at LAX in 2014 and lastly his hit and run charge last August.

These all play huge factors in this process and could be detrimental in the reinstatement of Aldon Smith to the Oakland Raiders. Adding to the intensity of the situation is the fact that the Raiders look to avenge one of their few losses to the division rival Kansas City Chiefs this week in Arrowhead Stadium. As if that was not enough, Smith will be crossing his fingers hoping Goodell comes to a decision quickly, as the game takes place this Thursday night.