The Oakland Raiders biggest weakness on defense is their pass rush, as the Raiders rank 28th out of 32 teams with just nine sacks in their first seven games.
The Raiders have one of the best pass rushers in the league in Khalil Mack, but teams are double and triple teaming him due to the lack of pass rushers around Mack.
Help may be on the way though in the form of a defensive end that used to be one of the most feared in the league, Aldon Smith.
Smith is currently serving a one-year suspension for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse that is set to expire on Nov. 17. According to Marc Sessler of NFL.com, Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie that Smith has applied for reinstatement:
“‘Aldon is doing well,” McKenzie said Wednesday night, per Tafur. “That situation is going to be totally up to the league because he’s been in the program and they’ve monitored him. It’s up to Goodell to say yah, nay or when. And he could say no to everything … that part is out of our hands.”
Said McKenzie: “The league will take everything into consideration and Aldon will have to meet with Goodell at some point.”
Smith has been arrested three times for DUIs, but entered a treatment facility in July and is not giving up on his NFL career.
The 27-year-old had 33.5 sacks in his first two career seasons while with the San Francisco 49ers, the most by any player in their first two season in NFL history.
He was named to the NFC Pro Bowl team and a First Team All-Pro is 2012 when he had 19.5 sacks, second in the NFL behind only J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans.
Smith signed a one-year deal with the Raiders before last season and he had 3.5 sacks in nine games last year with the Raiders before the ban. The Raiders then re-signed him this past April.