The Oakland Raiders will probably not have cornerback Sean Smith next week in the most important game of the early season, but the team did receive good news in regards to Smith’s recovery.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports Smith’s shoulder injury isn’t as bad as the team originally thought, and he may only miss one week.
Smith, in his first season with the Raiders, has 24 total tackles, eight pass defenses and two interceptions in the first eight games. He has now recorded two picks in a season five different times, but he’s never had three in one year. If he can return sooner than expected, Smith will have a great shot to get that third interception.
The 29-year-old began his career with the Miami Dolphins in 2009 after the Dolphins selected him 61st overall during the second round that year. In four seasons with Miami, Smith averaged 53 total tackles and 10 pass defenses per season while picking off five passes.
Smith spent the following three seasons in Kansas City, where he got to play opposite of up-and-coming corner Marcus Peters each of the last two years. Smith averaged 47 total tackles, 15 pass defenses and picked off five passes in three seasons with the Chiefs.
Oakland is tied for 27th in passing yards allowed per game, so although it’s good news Smith could be back soon, this week isn’t exactly the best time for a below average secondary to lose one of its starters. The Raiders host the Broncos next week in an AFC West showdown that will determine first place at the midway point of the season.