Smith played on 71 snaps while drawing a start opposite rookie Carlton Davis at left cornerback in place of Brent Grimes (groin). Grimes' eventual return should bump Smith back to nickel corner duties, but he's shown up well with 13 total tackles and a trio of defensed passes over his first two games.
Smith ultimately logged 44 snaps on defense and 17 additional on special teams on a very busy afternoon. The 25-year-old could have plenty of similar weeks ahead of him in the immediate future if starting cornerback Vernon Hargreaves' shoulder injury is as serious as feared. The 2016 fourth-round pick proved to be a solid tackler from the cornerback position last season -- registering 62 stops (51 solo) while also forcing three fumbles and recovering one over 15 games -- while also defending five passes, so there could be some deep-league IDP value there if he's in for a multi-week stint as a starter.
Smith was frequently picked on throughout the game, but he was able to come through when it counted most. The third-year corner intercepted a Bryce Petty pass with two seconds remaining, sealing the win for the Buccaneers. He'd also been credited with a forced fumble when Dolphins rookie running back Kalen Ballage attempted to hurdle him after a short reception early in the second quarter. After seeing extensive time in Thursday's game, Smith projects for another heavy workload in Saturday's exhibition tilt versus the Titans due to the absence of Vernon Hargreaves (groin).
Smith supplied five solo tackles and a pass defensed in Sunday's 31-24 win over the Saints.
The second-year defensive back had shaken off the ankle injury that had cost him the Week 16 loss to the Panthers early in the practice week, and he looked to be at full health Sunday while posting at least five stops for the fifth time over his final six games of the season. Smith worked his way into the starting lineup beginning in Week 8 due to injuries to Brent Grimes and Vernon Hargreaves (hamstring), and while he ended up acquitting himself particularly well in the tackle department, he wasn't able to get his hands on many passes. Smith finished with just two defensed passes over his last eight contests, and he's still in search of his first career interception after 29 games. The 24-year-old remains under team control for two more seasons under his rookie contract, and he could vie for a starting role if the team decides not to re-sign Grimes.
Smith was inactive for last Sunday's loss to the Panthers and started the week as a limited participant. Friday's practice session should provide further clarity, but at this point the 24-year-old appears on track to be available for the regular-season finale against the Saints.
|4||9/30/18||@ CHI||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 5|
|6||10/14/18||@ ATL||1:00 pm|
|8||10/28/18||@ CIN||1:00 pm|
|9||11/4/18||@ CAR||1:00 pm|
|11||11/18/18||@ NYG||1:00 pm|
|15||12/16/18||@ BAL||1:00 pm|
|16||12/23/18||@ DAL||1:00 pm|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||1||1.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2017||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||15||62||51.0||11||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||5|
|2018||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||2||13||11.0||2||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||3|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||10||169||16.9||24||0||0|
|2017||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||15||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2018||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||2||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2016||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2017||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||15||0||0||2||0||1||0||1||0|
|2018||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||2||0||0||0||0||1||3||1||0|