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Ito Smith

Minnesota Vikings
Running Back #25
Minnesota Vikings
Running Back #25
Photo: Icon Sportswire

Ito Smith News

Works out with Washington

Smith had a tryout with Washington on Tuesday, independent NFL journalist Aaron Wilson reports.

Analysis: Smith spent time with both Arizona and Minnesota during camp and was unable to crack either season-opening roster. The 25-year-old had 63 carries for 268 yards and a touchdown while catching 17 passes for 75 yards in 14 games for the Falcons last season, and he continues to look for a new team.

Sep 7, 2021 9:11 PM EST

Waived by Vikings

The Vikings waived Smith on Saturday, Craig Peters of the Vikings' official site reports.

Analysis: Smith was facing an uphill battle to make the roster, especially have just signed on Aug. 23. The veteran's unimpressive performance in Saturday's preseason contest against the Chiefs sealed his fate, as Minnesota has quite a bit of depth at running back. With teams trimming their rosters down to 53 players ahead of the regular season, Smith may be running out of options to sign elsewhere.

Aug 28, 2021 3:52 PM EST

Limited to 35 yards on 11 touches

Smith took 10 carries for 27 yards and caught one pass for eight yards in Friday's preseason loss to Kansas City.

Analysis: Waived by the Falcons in April and the Cardinals in August, Smith came to Minnesota as a long shot to earn a Week 1 roster spot. It now appears even more unlikely after undrafted rookie A.J. Rose capped off his big preseason with a pair of touchdowns Friday night. Rose himself may not even make the team, as Minnesota also has Dalvin Cook, Alexander Mattison (undisclosed), rookie fourth-round pick Kene Nwangwu (knee) and special teamer Ameer Abdullah.

Aug 28, 2021 9:52 AM EST

Signs in Minnesota

The Vikings signed Smith on Monday, Chad Graff of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Smith had a brief stint with the Cardinals after having been let go by the Falcons back in April. He will now get a chance in Minnesota while Kene Nwangwu (knee) sits out the rest of the preseason due to injury. A.J. Rose and Smith look to be in competition for the No. 5 backfield role.

Aug 23, 2021 11:26 AM EST

Parts way with Cards

The Cardinals waived Smith on Monday.

Analysis: Smith spent a little more than a week in Arizona and got on the field in the team's preseason opener Friday against the Cowboys, earning six snaps on offense on his way to two carries for six yards. With James Conner (toe) back from the reserve/COVID-19 list and Eno Benjamin impressing against Dallas (five carries for 50 yards and one TD), the Cards have decided to part ways with Smith.

Aug 16, 2021 2:46 PM EST

Sees first action as Cardinal

Smith gained six yards on two carries in Friday's preseason win over the Cowboys.

Analysis: Having only signed with Arizona in the last week, Smith didn't get on the field until late in the fourth quarter, gaining 11 yards on his first tote but then losing five on his second carry. The former Falcon is expected to fill a depth role in the backfield behind Chase Edmonds and James Conner (COVID-19/toe), a role that could lead to some regular-season volume given Conner's injury history, but second-year back Eno Benjamin had a big game Friday and could wind up being a serious obstacle to Smith securing the No. 3 spot on the depth chart.

Aug 14, 2021 6:55 AM EST

Joins Arizona

Smith signed a contract with the Cardinals on Saturday, Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official sitereports.

Analysis: It was somewhat surprising to see Smith without a team throughout the entire offseason after being waived by the Falcons back in April, but this ends up being a nice landing spot with the unproven Chase Edmonds and injury-prone James Conner (toe) atop the depth chart. The 25-year-old has essentially been a depth piece throughout his first three years in the league, playing more than 150 snaps every season while simultaneously never exceeding more than 310 in a given campaign, and it's hard to imagine that status changing much in Arizona. Smith has averaged over four yards a carry each of the past two seasons with the Falcons, but he's hardly known as a burner considering he's recorded just two carries of 20-plus yards across 175 totes.

Aug 7, 2021 1:26 PM EST

Let go by Falcons

The Falcons have released Smith.

Analysis: 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 will now look to catch on elsewhere as a depth back.

Apr 15, 2021 10:44 AM EST

Ends season with quiet outing

Smith carried the ball three times for nine yards, adding a seven-yard catch during Sunday's 44-27 loss to the Buccaneers.

Analysis: 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 on 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.

Jan 4, 2021 4:51 PM EST

Gains Week 17 clearance

Smith (rib) does not carry an injury designation into Sunday's game against the Buccaneers, Jason Butt of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Analysis: Smith submitted a trio of limited sessions throughout the practice week, but the team has now officially cleared him for his 14th appearance of the season. The third-year back has overtaken Atlanta's lead running back role, nearly doubling Todd Gurley in carries (35-19) since Week 13. With Atlanta's playoff hopes long evaporated, 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 alluded him, however, as he has just two TDs in 20 appearances over the same span.

Jan 1, 2021 12:04 PM EST

Maintains limited practice activity

Smith (rib) was a limited participant at Thursday's practice, Will McFadden of the Falcons' official site reports.

Analysis: 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.

Dec 31, 2020 12:34 PM EST

Limited in practice

Smith (ribs) was limited in Wednesday's practice, Jason Butt of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Analysis: Smith led the Falcons' backfield for a fourth consecutive contest Week 16, with 10 carries for 46 yards. The third-year pro caught his only target for five yards, but he also appears to have injured his ribs. As long as Smith is able to continue practicing in at least a limited capacity he should have a fair shot at suiting up in Tampa Bay on Sunday, but if he were to miss time it would leave Todd Gurley, Brian Hill and Qadree Ollison in position to divvy up Atlanta's carries.

Dec 30, 2020 12:49 PM EST

Leads team with 10 carries

Smith ran for 46 yards on 10 carries, reeling in his only target for a five-yard gain during Sunday's 17-14 loss to the Chiefs. He also fumbled once, but the ball rolled out of bounds.

Analysis: Ito Smith continued to lead the Falcons backfield in carries during Week 16, just as he had in three consecutive outings entering Sunday's cross-conference showdown. He was inefficient as a rookie in establishing just a 3.5 yards-per-carry average over 90 attempts during 2018, but he's been more effective in 20 appearances the past two seasons. Since Week 11, specifically, Smith is averaging 4.5 yards per attempt. However, he remains with only one total touchdown this season as Atlanta prepares for its 2020 finale against Tampa Bay's No. 1 rush defense.

Dec 27, 2020 4:52 PM EST

Named lead back by coach

Interim coach Raheem Morris said Monday that Smith is the Falcons' "lead runner," Kelsey Conway of the Falcons' official site reports.

Analysis: Morris is only making the obvious official, as Smith has paced Todd Gurley in carries 25-15 since Week 13. However, Smith hasn't hit 50 yards from scrimmage or scored in that span, giving him an uncertain fantasy ceiling. D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes that Morris credited Smith's performance as the reason for his rise up the depth chart, rather than an injury to Gurley.

Dec 21, 2020 12:17 PM EST

Again the team's busiest back

Smith collected 24 rushing yards on six carries, reeling in two of three targets for nine receiving yards during Sunday's 31-27 loss to the Buccaneers.

Analysis: Smith has overtaken Todd Gurley for the main running back role over the Falcons' past handful of games, exceeding the three-time Pro Bowler 25-15 in carries since Week 13. The Southern Miss product was far more effective than Gurley over that three-game span, and he's proven more efficient as a rusher season-long as well, with his 4.3 yards-per-carry average towering over Gurley's 3.5 YPC. What has diminished Smith's fantasy ceiling is the fact that he possesses just one TD over 65 offensive touches on the year.

Dec 21, 2020 6:54 AM EST

Overshadows Gurley in second half

Smith logged 42 rushing yards on 11 carries, adding a three-yard catch during Sunday's 20-17 loss to the Chargers.

Analysis: Smith overcame a neck injury that kept him limited for the first two sessions of the practice week, earning his 11th appearance of the 2020 campaign during Week 14. The Southern Mississippi product surpassed Todd Gurley for offensive opportunities as the game wore on, outpacing the three-time Pro Bowler by eight touches between the third and four quarters. With Atlanta sitting at 4-9, and Gurley set to become an unrestricted free agent following the season, it's not outside the realm of possibility that Smith is more productive over the final three weeks. The third-year back's 4.3 yards-per-carry average this season compares favorably to Gurley's 3.6 YPC clip.

Dec 13, 2020 11:40 PM EST

Recovered from neck issue

Smith (neck) doesn't have a designation on the final injury report for Sunday's game against the Chargers, William McFadden of the Falcons' official site reports.

Analysis: Smith is fine to play after a full practice Friday, but he probably won't see many touches now that Todd Gurley's knee is feeling better. Smith took 20 carries for 101 yards and a touchdown over the past two games, adding five catches for eight yards on seven targets. It's possible he works ahead of Brian Hill off the bench this week.

Dec 11, 2020 10:07 AM EST

Stays limited Thursday

Smith (neck) practiced in a limited fashion Thursday, Will McFadden of the Falcons' official site reports.

Analysis: Smith was evaluated for a head injury Week 13 against the Saints, but he ultimately was revealed to have a neck issue once the Falcons kicked off Week 14 prep. Limited both days so far this week, he'll look to increase his activity level at Friday's practice. Even if he doesn't, Smith still may be in line for a decreased workload Sunday against the Chargers with Todd Gurley (knee) slated for a larger role moving forward.

Dec 10, 2020 1:45 PM EST

Dealing with neck injury

Smith was limited by a neck injury at Wednesday's practice, Will McFadden of the Falcons' official site reports.

Analysis: During a Week 13 loss to the Saints, Smith was evaluated for a head injury, but fortunately for the running back he didn't enter the concussion protocol. Instead, he's tending to a neck issue. Smith has been used more often the last two games due to Todd Gurley's knee injury, which sidelined the latter Week 12 and limited him this past Sunday. With Gurley expected to handle more reps moving forward, Smith seems poised for a downturn in snaps, especially with a health concern of his own in tow.

Dec 9, 2020 1:50 PM EST

Being checked for head injury

Smith is being evaluated for a head injury and his return to Sunday's matchup against the Saints remains questionable, Jason Butt of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Analysis: Smith concluded the contest in a tie with Todd Gurley at a team-high eight carries, but his 4.5 yards-per-carry average was far more efficient than the three-time Pro Bowler's 2.0 YPC clip. The third-year back's status remains up in the air looking forward to a Week 14 showdown with the Chargers, but his stock is on the rise with back-to-back strong outings. He registered 12 carries for 65 yards and a touchdown last Sunday in a rout of the Raiders.

Dec 6, 2020 1:17 PM EST

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