Oakland Raiders pass rusher Aldon Smith has been suspended almost an entire year for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. The one-year mark will take place on November 17, 2016, which is in two weeks.
His suspension was to be for one year, and he’s already been in contact with the league to apply for reinstatement.
When asked about his potential return to action during the Golden State Warriors game on Thursday night, Smith excitedly gave his response.
Raiders LB Aldon Smith in great spirits, smiling courtside Warriors. Says "I'll be back in 2 weeks." Reinstatement by NFL? "Hopefully soon."
— Janie McCauley (@JanieMcCAP) November 4, 2016
Given Smith’s extensive history with substance abuse and poor off-field decisions, it’s not necessarily a given he’ll be reinstated exactly one year since his suspension. Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon, who has a similar track record, received an additional four games and was conditionally reinstated this year.
On the field, Smith is among the more terrifying pass rushers in the NFL. And there’s no doubt the Raiders could use his services, ranking No. 29 in the NFL in pass defense right now.
Now the next step in the process is to see what the NFL has up its sleeve for Smith going forward. He’s had numerous chances to reform his behavior, has appeared to do so on multiple occasions and then has ended up slipping up at the worst possible time.
Hopefully Smith truly has gotten the help he needs to stay out of trouble and on the field for the Raiders in the future.