McKenzie: No Update on Potential Aldon Reinstatement as Deadline Nears

ALAMEDA -- Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie sat down with local beat reporters on Thursday morning, but didn’t come armed with breaking news.

Aldon Smith had not yet been reinstated to the NFL. Smith applied for reinstatement on Oct. 2, according to ESPN, and commissioner Roger Goodell would have to rule on the application within 60 days only if all the application requirements were met.

That 60th day comes on Friday, but it’s unclear whether a ruling will come then, or if it must.

McKenzie and the Raiders remain in wait-and-see mode regarding their star edge rusher, who was banished at least one calendar year on Nov. 15, 2015 for violating the NFL substance abuse policy.

“I was hoping I could give you guys something,” McKenzie said with a smile. “But (the NFL) will let us know in due time. I’m sure they’re in communication with each other on that, but they don’t fill us in on anything with that process.”

Smith isn’t allowed to have direct contact with Raiders coaches or front office personnel, save the player engagement director, though information can be relayed through representatives.

The Raiders have been completely reliant on Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin off the edge and could certainly use Smith’s help as a rotational pass rusher.

If he is reinstated Friday or later this year, Smith could make an impact for the Raiders without much practice time.

“We would go through the proper channels to see where he is physically and mentally and all that,” McKenzie said. “But, to totally discount this year, we wouldn’t do that.”

As a reminder, here’s the reinstatement procedure, taken direcly from the NFL Substance Abuse Policy:

Any Player who has been banished under Stage Three may apply formally in writing for reinstatement no sooner than 60 days before the one-year anniversary date of the letter so banishing him.

The application should include all pertinent information about the Player’s:

(a) Treatment;
(b) Abstinence from Substances of Abuse throughout the entire period of his banishment;
(c) Involvement with any Substances of Abuse related incidents; and
(d) Arrests and/or convictions for any criminal activity, including Substances of Abuse-related offenses.

Set forth below are the procedures to be used when an application is received by the Commissioner.

1. Within 45 days of receipt of the application, the Player will be interviewed by the Medical Director and the Medical Advisor, after which a recommendation will be made to the Commissioner with regard to the Player’s request for reinstatement.

2. The Player will execute appropriate medical release forms that will enable the Commissioner’s staff and NFLPA Executive Director’s staff to review the Player’s substance abuse history, including but not limited to attendance at counseling sessions (individual, group and family); attendance at 12-step and other self-help group meetings; periodic progress reports; and all diagnostic findings and treatment recommendations.

3. The Player will submit to urine testing by an NFL representative at a frequency determined by the Medical Advisor.

4. The Player will agree in a meeting with the Commissioner or his representative(s) to comply with the conditions imposed by the Commissioner for his reinstatement to the status of an active Player.

5. All individuals involved in the process will take steps to enable the Commissioner to render a decision within 60 days of the receipt of the application.

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