Raiders' Justin Tuck: Future is bright for Aldon Smith

The Oakland Raiders won't reveal whether Aldon Smith will play Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, just days after signing a deal with the Oakland Raiders, which can be worth up to $8 million with bonuses.

Coach Jack Del Rio didn't sound worried about Smith being able to pick up the defense if tossed into the fire.

"You can bring certain positions up to speed quicker than others," Del Rio said, via CSN Bay Area. "We'll see where (he) is and we'll make a determination as we get closer to Sunday."

To parse out Del Rio's words: It doesn't take much to say, 'hey, Aldon, go rush the quarterback.'

The key will be whether the Raiders feel Smith is in game-shape enough to take up one of the 46 active roster spots Week 1.

The outside linebacker is eligible to play while the NFL investigates his most recent trio of misdemeanor charges. New teammates didn't sound worried about the Smith's troubled history -- which landed him with a nine-game ban in 2014.

"I don't like talking about the past," veteran defensive end Justin Tuck said. "I like talking about the future, and the future is bright with that kid. That's what we'll concern ourselves with."

Tuck, like Del Rio, wouldn't let on if he thought Smith would play Sunday, but the veteran believes the young sack artist has the talent to make an immediate impact on the Raiders' defense, regardless of how many snaps he might see.

"I don't think it'll take him that long to get going," Tuck said. "If he plays on Sunday he won't have a full practice, but he'll have enough. With a guy like Aldon and the talent he has, I think he'll get in there and fit right in.

"I think he brings another weapon you can move around, someone who can help give different looks and make opposing quarterbacks very nervous."

The talent Smith possesses continually earns him more and more chances, despite the off-field incidents. His latest 'next chance' could come Sunday.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content