Raiders not counting on Aldon Smith returning in 2016


The Oakland Raiders aren't counting on Aldon Smith's return this season.

The pass rusher continues to wait to hear about his potential reinstatement after a one-year suspension for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport noted Sunday on NFL GameDay Morning that anything from Smith would simply be a bonus for Oakland in 2016.

"It's not something, at this point, that the Raiders are counting on," Rapoport said. "It would be a bonus if Aldon Smith did get cleared and would be eligible to return, but the timing makes this very difficult. And (it's) hard to be, based on the people I'm talking to, that Smith would be able to be back on the field in 2016."

During his absence, Smith has met with councilors and attended rehab. Rapoport reported that Smith's extended his rehab by 60 days.

The pass rusher is still hoping to meet with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, but it's unclear if a meeting will take place, Rapoport reported.

"So Aldon Smith and the Raiders simply wait, hoping there is enough time to get him back before the end of the season, but no sure thing," Rapoport said.

If Smith is reinstated before the end of the season, Oakland could get a game-changing defender back for a potential Super Bowl run, depending on how quickly he can get back into football shape after the long layoff.