ALAMEDA – A pair of videos were posted Wednesday featuring Raiders edge rusher Aldon Smith. The first was a workout montage filmed during a private session in San Francisco. The second was a short interview where Smith talked about positive results coming from hard work and saying he “won’t be defeated” by adversity.
A rare Smith cameo came on the eve of his eligibility for reinstatement following a calendar year banished for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr wasn’t sure what to make of it. He tweeted at Aldon Smith Wednesday night, saying “almost time brother! Can’t wait until you’re back!”
Smith wasn’t back on the first day eligible to return. There is no timetable for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to rule on his application for reinstatement, which was filed last month. It could come at any time from now on, assuming Goodell views Smith’s application favorably.
Raiders officials aren’t allowed to have contact with Smith during this down period, though players can reach out. Carr has done so recently.
“I’ve talked back and forth to him as a friend, texted him,” quarterback Derek Carr said before Thursday’s practice. “To be completely honest, nothing about football. I tweeted him yesterday because he posted that video and I was excited. I was like, ‘Man, is he telling us something?’ I don’t know. Whenever we get him back, we’ll be happy to get our brother back.”
Head coach Jack Del Rio said last week the Raiders are in wait-and-see mode regarding a possible Smith return. On Thursday, he said “nothing has changed” in that regard.
Smith played nine games with the Raiders last season before the league took punitive action against him for multiple violations of the NFL substance abuse policy. That stemmed from his latest run-in with the law, an Aug. 2015 incident which brought about misdemeanor chargers of DUI, hit and run and vandalism.