The Falcons have waved Smith. The move comes in the wake of the team's signing of the versatile Cordarrelle Patterson and quite possibly foreshadows the addition of a second or third-round running back in the upcoming NFL Draft, per Tori McElhaney of The Athletic. Smith finished the 2020 campaign -- his third with the Falcons -- with 268 rushing yards and one TD in 63 rushing attempts, to go along with 75 receiving yards on 17 catches. The 25-year-old now will look to catch on elsewhere as a depth back.
Smith carried the ball three times for nine yards, adding a seven-yard catch during Sunday's 44-27 loss to the Buccaneers. Smith was limited throughout the practice week because of a rib injury, providing context for his reduced Week 17 role. Atlanta found itself in a pass-heavy game script facing a significant halftime deficit, but Brian Hill and Todd Gurley still combined for 18 carries atop the Falcons backfield. Smith had been enjoying an uptick in usage in recent weeks, with double-digit carries over three of his five most recent outings entering Sunday. The 25-year-old closes out the year with 268 rushing yards and one TD over 63 attempts, adding 75 receiving yards on 17 catches. He's under contract with the Falcons for one more season at a cap hit of $1.1 million.
Smith (rib) doesn't carry an injury designation into Sunday's game against the Buccaneers, Jason Butt of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Smith was limited in each of the Falcons' three practices this week, but that was enough for him to gain clearance for the season finale. The third-year back has taken over as Atlanta's lead running back role in recent games, nearly doubling up Todd Gurley in carries (35-19) since Week 13. With Atlanta's playoff hopes having long since disappeared, the team might as well see what it has in Smith, who, unlike Gurley, remains under contract beyond this season. Smith's 4.5 yards-per-carry average on 82 attempts the past two seasons shows the 25-year-old has the ability to be an efficient NFL back. The end zone has eluded him, however, as he has just two touchdowns in 20 appearances over the same span.
Smith (rib) was a limited participant at Thursday's practice, Will McFadden of the Falcons' official site reports. Smith's rib injury kept him from logging full activity for the second straight day, so the Falcons may want to see him increase his involvement in Friday's practice before signing off on him playing Sunday in Tampa Bay. The 25-year-old has been the leader of Atlanta's backfield committee over the past four weeks, but that role hasn't proven fantasy-friendly. He's failed to score a touchdown in any of those four contests while averaging 40.8 yards from srimmage per game.
Smith was limited in Wednesday's practice due to a rib injury, Jason Butt of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Smith led the Atlanta backfield for a fourth consecutive contest Week 16 against the Chiefs, carrying 10 times for 46 yards. He appears to have injured his ribs in the process, but as long as Smith is able to continue practicing in at least a limited capacity Thursday and Friday, he should have a fair shot at suiting up Sunday in Tampa Bay on Sunday. If Smith is ruled out of the contest, however, Todd Gurley, Brian Hill and Qadree Ollison would likely split work out of the backfield.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/19||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1||12.30|
|3||09/26||@New York Giants||16||17.50|
|4||10/03||Washington Football Team||3||14.24|
|5||10/10||New York Jets||20||18.00|
|9||11/07||@New Orleans Saints||2||13.00|
|11||11/18||New England Patriots||22||18.88|
|13||12/05||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1||12.30|
|15||12/19||@San Francisco 49ers||7||14.75|
|18||01/09||New Orleans Saints||2||13.00|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||58||230||2||18||105||0||45|