The rookie defensive back was able to log practice time this week but will sit out Sunday. His fantasy impact would have largely been limited to kickoff returns, a role that Adam Humphries is expected to fulfill in Week 1.
Smith (hand) is listed as questionable for Sunday's game in Atlanta.
A fourth-round rookie, Smith logged full practices throughout the week, suggesting he isn't actually in much danger of missing Sunday's game. He probably won't have much of a role on defense, but he is expected to return kickoffs.
Smith logged six tackles (four solo) and logged one kickoff return for 25 yards in Wednesday's 20-13 preseason loss to the Redskins.
The rookie safety had left the previous contest versus the Browns with a hand injury, but was unencumbered against the Redskins and once again made a bid for a roster spot by contributing on both defense and special teams. Smith's fourth-round draft status and 4.47 speed has earned him an extended look in training camp and preseason and Wednesday's production may have clinched him a spot on the final roster. Smith brings kickoff return experience from his days at North Carolina Central, having totaled 394 yards, including a 95-yard touchdown, over 14 college kickoff returns.
The fourth-round rookie has gotten reps with the second-team secondary while also logging time as a kick returner. Smith has caught Koetter's eye with the progress he's made in getting up to speed after missing some valuable time during OTAs with a leg injury. "Ryan's playing a little bit of catch-up," Koetter said. "When those guys miss OTAs with injuries, even though they're in on the meetings, it takes some time to catch up, mentally... Now Ryan, you definitely can see his athleticism flash every day. The guy's got really good speed and it shows up on special teams." Smith is listed as the second-string kick returner on the initial depth chart released Saturday, as well as the third-string strong safety behind Chris Conte and Keith Tandy.