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Raiders’ Aldon Smith Likely To Play Week 1

NFL News
September 11, 2015

The Raiders plan to play newly signed outside linebacker Aldon Smith in Sunday’s season opener against Cincinnati, according to Ed Werder of ESPN (Twitter link). The 25-year-old practiced with the Raiders and impressed their coaching staff, per Werder.

Prior to Werder’s report, there was question as to whether Smith would play this week – not only because he’s new to the Raiders’ roster, but because of a looming suspension regarding his most recent off-field troubles. Earlier Friday, the Santa Clara County DA filed three misdemeanor charges against Smith, stemming from an August incident — DUI with prior conviction, hit and run with property damage, and vandalism. An arraignment date for the ex-49er is set for Oct. 6, and the NFL is conducting its own investigation into the incident. Thus, a suspension figures to be coming for Smith, who has already faced multiple penalties for past legal run-ins.

However, barring something unforeseen happening before Sunday, it appears the Raiders’ defense will be bolstered – at least temporarily – by one of the league’s premier pass rushers. Smith has been a dominant force throughout his career, tallying 44 sacks in 50 regular-season games, and should aid an Oakland team that took down opposing quarterbacks just 22 times last season – the second fewest in the league.

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