Smith applied for a return to the NFL back on October 3, which gave NFL commissioner Roger Goodell 60 days to render a decision. The 60-day mark is coming up next Friday, so we should know whether he’ll return to the Raiders soon.
According to Schefter, there’s “guarded optimism” within the Raiders that Smith will be reinstated and allowed to finish out the season.
The NFL is still expected to look into whether the Periscope video that appears to show him a hand-rolled cigarette violated the protocols required for a suspended player to be reinstated.
Smith entered a rehab facility soon after the video surfaced and spent 120 days there.
Smith, 27, is a former first-round pick of the 49ers back in 2010. He was cut loose by the 49ers shortly after a DUI incident last year, even though San Francisco picked up his fifth-year option.
Smith later signed a one-year deal with the Raiders that was worth up to $8 million, which was largely incentive-based. Oakland elected to re-sign Smith to a two-year, $11.5 million contract this past April, despite the fact that he was going to miss a large portion of the 2017 season.
In 2015, Smith has recorded 28 total tackles, 3.5 sacks, and three pass defenses over the course of nine games. Pro Football Focus currently rates Smith as the No. 33 edge defender out of 110 qualifying players.