The Oakland Raiders aren’t getting Aldon Smith back for the playoffs.
The NFL had suspended the accomplished outside linebacker for a year as a repeat violator of the league’s policy on substances of abuse. But Smith completed that punishment in November.
In recent weeks there had been considerable buzz the NFL finally would reinstate him before the playoffs. On Friday the league confirmed that won’t happen.
The earliest the 27-year-old now can hope to be reinstated is March 15, reports said.
Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio isn’t exactly happy about it.
“A little disappointed, honestly,” he told a news conference on Friday. “I feel like from everything that I’ve gathered, obviously it’s not my job to make a rule, but from everything I’ve gathered, he’s done his duty to take care of all the things he needs to take care of.”