Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said Smith is doing well as he is working out and preparing to return. At the earliest, Smith can return after Nov. 17.
McKenzie said the league will decide when Smith is reinstated. Smith has to sit down with NFL Commisioner Roger Goodell. No deadline is set yet, per ESPN.
Goodell will take everything into consideration, including Smith’s previous arrests and a questionable video that surfaced before Smith’s trip to rehab this offseason.
According to CBS Sports, NFLPA represantives believe Smith could be back in a couple of weeks.
Oakland can not communicate directly with Smith, but they can speak to his agent. Hence, McKenzie said Smith is in a good place. McKenzie hopes the league will reward him, with stipulations, as he takes the right steps to change his life.
Smith signed a new two-year deal with the Raiders in the spring, despite being in the middle of his one-year ban. His $5.75 million contract kicks in when he is reinstated.
The 2011 pick registered 44.5 sacks in 50 games with the San Francisco 49ers. He was released in August of 2015, after his latest arrest. The Raiders signed him before week one of 2015, and Smith finished the year with 3.5 sacks in nine games.
Currently, the Raiders rank 28th in sacks with 9 for 2016. Smith could boost a defense that ranks last in total yards as early as Week 11.