Smith (ankle) caught all three of his targets for 85 yards and two touchdowns Sunday in the Saints' 30-20 divisional-round loss to the Buccaneers. Smith had missed the Saints' previous four contests with a bad ankle, and while his team took the loss, the downfield threat produced his best statistical performance of the season upon his return. Michael Thomas (zero catches) was keyed in on by the Buccaneers' defense, allowing Smith to take advantage of single coverage when he was called upon. The majority of his damage was done on a trick play in which backup quarterback Jameis Winston took the top off of the secondary and connected with the speedy wideout on a 50-yard bomb. Drew Brees simply doesn't have the arm strength at his advanced age to generate big plays like that for Smith, so it will actually hurt the receiver's fantasy value if the Hall of Famer decides to continue playing next year. However, If New Orleans has a new quarterback under center in 2021, and said signal caller can stretch the field the way we saw Winston do Sunday, then Smith could begin to gain traction as a fantasy asset, as he consistently sits atop the team's yards-per-reception rankings, finishing with a mark of 13.2 this regular season even with a declining Brees starting for most of the season.
The Saints activated Smith (ankle) from injured reserve Saturday. Smith's return to the 53-man roster clears the way for him to play in Sunday's divisional-round contest against the Buccaneers. In his first game action since Week 15, look for Smith to work alongside Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders in three-receiver sets. Over 14 regular-season outings, Smith caught 34 of his 50 targets for 448 yards and four touchdowns.
The Saints designated Smith (ankle) for return from injured reserve Wednesday, Luke Johnson of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. Smith has been on IR since Week 15, but he demonstrated enough progress in his recovering from the ankle injury to rejoin the Saints for practice. The Saints will assess Smith in their workouts Wednesday through Friday before determining whether he's fit to rejoin the team for Sunday's divisional-round matchup against Tampa Bay. If Smith is activated from IR ahead of the weekend, he would likely join Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders in three-wideout sets.
Smith (ankle) could be ready to return for the NFC divisional round, per teammate Deonte Harris, Katherine Terrell of The Athletic reports. Smith has been on IR since Week 15. The receiver will need to be removed from IR in order to suit up, but it wouldn't be surprising to see Smith rejoin his teammates in practice this week in light of Harris' comments after the team's win over the Bears in the wild-card round. More light on Smith's status should be shed once the Saints begin their upcoming week of practice.
The Saints placed Smith (ankle) on injured reserve Thursday, Larry Holder of The Athletic reports. While the Saints haven't commented on the severity of the right ankle injury Smith sustained Week 15 against the Chiefs, his placement on IR confirms that he'll require a multi-week recovery. Per Luke Johnson of The New Orleans Times-Picayune, Smith posted a photograph on his social media Wednesday featuring himself in what appeared to be a doctor's office with his ankle heavily bandaged, suggesting that the wideout may have needed surgery. In any case, with Smith officially shut down for the final two games of the regular season, he'll finish his third NFL campaign with 34 receptions for 448 yards and four touchdowns over his 14 appearances.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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