Smith (knee) remains unsigned while rehabbing from a season-ending injury, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Smith had some success as an occasional big-play threat for the Falcons in 2013 and 2014, but a combination of injuries and age have sapped his explosiveness. Even if he returns to full health at some point this offseason, the 31-year-old may find it tough to catch on with a team that gives him a real shot to earn a roster spot. He had 10 carries for 47 yards and six catches for 77 yards in three games with Tampa Bay last season.
The Buccaneers placed Smith (knee) on injured reserve Monday, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports. The revolving door at running back in Tampa Bay has been precipitated by a spate of injuries, forcing Charles Sims (knee) and now Smith to IR. As a corresponding move, the Bucs have promoted Russell Hansbrough to the 53-man roster, which boasts three healthy RBs at the moment (also Peyton Barber and Mike James). Elsewhere on the injury front, Jacquizz Rodgers (foot) remained in a walking boot Monday, according to Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times, while Doug Martin has yet to practice since suffering a hamstring injury in Week 2.
Smith suffered a season-ending knee injury Thursday against the Falcons, the Tampa Bay Times reports. With Doug Martin and Jacquizz Rodgers currently ailing, the Bucs could promote fellow RB Russell Hansbrough from their practice squad, or alternatively the team could hit the free agent market to add some much-needed backfield depth.
Smith was seen with crutches after suffering a knee injury in Thursday's loss to the Falcons, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Smith notched 25 yards on five carries, and caught three balls for 27 yards on four targets before injuring his knee late in the fourth quarter. He needed help off the field and was unable to return. The veteran is the latest Buccaneers running back to suffer an injury.
Smith's ability to handle a heavy workload, which he figures to be in line for in Thursday's game against the Falcons, is unproven given that he's never had more than four carries in an NFL game, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports. While he played 22 snaps in Sunday's loss to the Raiders and carried four times overall, that modest amount of touches actually matched a career high for Smith. It's certainly not common to find a veteran running back of 66 NFL games who's never exceed four rushing attempts in a game, but that's precisely the case with Smith, whose career receiving yards (282) nearly equal what he's tallied on the ground (319). As a result of his history of an abbreviated workload, the 31-year-old could be used more in a Darren Sproles-type role, receiving single-digit carries but being used heavily in the screen game and on short dump-off passes that could replace a traditional running attack at times. James certainly has the speed to eat up large chunks of yards in space, having run a 4.33 40-yard dash coming out of college and a 4.25 back in his high school days.
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