Aldon Smith the suspended pass rusher for the Oakland Raiders is not going to be reinstated this season by the NFL.
A spokesperson for the league said on Friday that the NFL deferred its decision on the petition sent by Smith for reinstatement and would start consideration in March.
Smith was suspended during November of 2015 for violating the substance abuse policy of the league. He was eligible for reinstated November 17, 2016 and had a meeting with the NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in early December making a case for his return to playing.
However, the league made the decision to hold off on deciding his reinstatement.
Oakland head coach Jack Del Rio was clearly upset by the choice the league made to put off its decision until March of 2017.
Del Rio said the decision was not his to make, but from what he has been able to determine Smith had done everything to take care of what the NFL had required of him while suspended.
Del Rio also note that Smith was still paying the price while other NFL players who have had issues off the field have been allowed to return.
Del Rio continued by saying he has seen others that have been allowed to return and his question is what is the difference with Smith.
The Oakland coach said that as a team they will move on, as it is what they must do, but that he remained disappointed.
Oakland is 12-3 on the season and ends its regular season in Denver on Sunday. If the Raiders can win, they will win the AFC West and a first round bye.
The current suspension of Smith comes from an August 2015 arrest on drunken driving charges, vandalism and a hit and run, which led to the San Francisco 49ers releasing him.
It was the fifth time that Smith had a run-in with law enforcement since he became a player in the NFL in 2011.
Smith then signed in September of 2015 with Oakland and played for the Raiders just 9 games before the NFL suspended him a second time.
The league commissioner holds sole discretion on determining if or when players will be given permission to return to the league.
Failure to carrying out a treatment plan is looked at as a significant factor in the commissioner’s decision.