A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday there is sufficient evidence for Raiders cornerback Sean Smith to stand trial for allegedly assaulting his sister’s then-boyfriend on July 4, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Smith was present at the preliminary hearing in Pasadena, California, where the incident took place. Smith is scheduled to be arraigned on Jan. 3.
Smith, who attended Blair High School in Pasadena, faces felony charges of assault by means of force to produce great bodily injury and battery with serious bodily injury. He pleaded not guilty. If convicted, Smith faces a maximum of seven years in state prison.
The Raiders declined a request for comment on Wednesday. Smith’s lawyer did not respond to a message seeking comment.
The team is expected to part with Smith next offseason. Aside from the forthcoming trial, he is due an $8.25 million salary in 2018, high compensation for a player whom the Raiders relegated to the bench when healthy at various points this season.
The Raiders started safety Obi Melifonwu at left cornerback over him as recently as Nov. 19 against the New England Patriots.
To Smith’s credit, teammates praised his preparation and attitude when dealing with a diminished role. His play also has improved following a slow start.
Since Week 7, Smith has allowed a 42 quarterback rating when targeted, seventh-best in the NFL. He’s ceded 14 catches on 26 targets during that span for 169 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. Both picks came during Sunday’s 20-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. The team’s defense has two other interceptions this season.
Smith signed a four-year, $38 million contract in 2016.
Opportunity for Sharpe
Being star left tackle Donald Penn’s backup rarely offers opportunity, but rookie David Sharpe might soon get one.
With Penn sidelined for the rest of the season, the fourth-round selection out of Florida could see plenty of action against the Eagles on Christmas night.
Penn had appeared in 174 straight regular-season games with 170 consecutive starts.
Del Rio wasn’t ready to commit snaps to Sharpe after the rookie had three forgetful snaps versus the Giants on Dec. 3. That’s the only time Sharpe has been on the field this season.
Sharpe said he often replays the three snaps in his head so he can perform better during his next opportunity.
“It made me want more,” Sharpe said. “If I do get the opportunity, I definitely can’t wait to get out there. It wasn’t the best of snaps, but it was definitely a learning experience.”
Center James Stone was moved from the practice squad to the active roster on Wednesday.
Stone, who has had 10 career starts, could be called upon with starting center Rodney Hudson listed as questionable because of illness. It’s unclear if Stone’s signing is tied to the health of Hudson. He played through Sunday’s game while dealing with a kidney stone.
In a corresponding move with Stone’s promotion, the Raiders waived linebacker Xavier Woodson-Luster.
Carr gets team award
Quarterback Derek Carr was selected Wednesday as the Raiders’ 2017 Ed Block Courage Award recipient. The award goes to the player who exemplifies a commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage.