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Ito Smith

Ito Smith

Running Back #25
Team: Atlanta Falcons
Ht / Wt:5'9" / 198 lb.
College:None
Age:24
Born:September 11, 1995
Drafted:2018 / Rd. 4 (126)
Draft Team:ATL

Ito Smith: Training for 2020 season

Smith (concussion/neck) has been taking part in offseason training in Houston and plans to return to Atlanta in the near future to work out with quarterback Matt Ryan and other skill-position players, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Smith's ability to take part in workouts without any reported limitations suggested he's gained full clearance from the concussion that sidelined him for the Falcons' final nine games of the past season. While Atlanta moved on from Devonta Freeman earlier in the offseason, the team brought in ex-Rams standout Todd Gurley to serve as its lead back. As a result, Smith will remain stuck in his familiar No. 2 role in 2020 if Gurley's chronic knee issues don't cost him too much time.

May 20, 2020 10:36 AM EST

Ito Smith: Expected back in 2020

Smith (neck/concussion) should be back with the Falcons for 2020, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Analysis: The 2018 fourth-round pick was limited to seven games, 33 touches and 193 yards in his second pro season, landing on injured reserve in early November after he suffered his second concussion of the year. Smith also picked up a neck injury, but he'll likely be healthy by April when the Falcons begin their offseason program. With Devonta Freeman facing an uncertain future due to his hefty salary, it isn't out of the question that Smith could get a shot to compete for the starting backfield job. Of course, the Falcons presumably will bring in other running backs if they end up cutting or trading Freeman.

February 11, 2020 8:31 AM EST

Ito Smith: Minimal impact in limited role

Smith ran for six yards on three carries, and returned two kickoffs for 59 yards during Sunday's 34-33 loss to the Cardinals.

Analysis: Game flow did not trend in Smith's favor, as the Falcons fell into a three-possession hole in the third quarter and were forced to throw in an effort to ignite a late comeback. Smith garnered six targets in Week 5 against Houston, but otherwise has only exceeded four targets in a single game once in his 20-game NFL career. Upcoming next is a matchup against a Rams defense that contained a thus-far dominant 49ers ground attack to just 2.4 yards per carry Sunday.

October 13, 2019 8:34 PM EST

Ito Smith: Big-time producer in passing game

Smith ran for 19 yards on five carries, while adding six catches for 45 receiving yards during Sunday's 53-32 loss to the Texans.

Analysis: The second-year back had seen a regression in his running game role since suffering a concussion Sept. 22 against Indianapolis, fielding just three combined carries between Weeks 3 and 4. Sunday against Houston he was back to a viable fantasy workload, garnering his second-highest total of rush attempts of 2019 while benefiting from a career-high six targets. Upcoming next for Smith and the Falcons' backfield is a matchup against an Arizona defense that held the Cincinnati backfield without a rushing touchdown last week.

October 6, 2019 8:29 PM EST

Ito Smith: Notches first score of 2019

Smith accounted for 11 yards and a touchdown on two carries, and caught two of four targets for 20 receiving yards during Sunday's 24-10 loss to the Titans.

Analysis: The Atlanta ground attack has been dormant through the first four weeks of the regular season, with the team accounting for a collective 71.3 rushing yards per game. Smith individually has seen marked improvement to his rushing efficiency in a limited sample size, with his yards-per-carry average improving to 5.7 from the 3.5 mark he established as a rookie. Week 5 is a challenging matchup for Smith and this struggling Falcons' rushing attack, going up against a Texans defense that's allowed just 167 opponent rushing yards on 46 carries over its past two appearances.

September 29, 2019 8:50 PM EST

Ito Smith: Cleared from concussion protocol

Smith (concussion) will play in Sunday's game against the Titans, Jason Butt of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Smith only needed a few days to pass through the concussion protocol, returning to practice as a limited participant Thursday before shedding his non-contact jersey Friday. He's set for his usual role splitting backfield work with Devonta Freeman.

September 27, 2019 9:47 AM EST

Ito Smith: Practices without no-contact jersey

Smith (concussion) practiced Friday without a non-contact jersey, Jason Butt of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Smith did not practice Wednesday and wore a non-contact jersey Thursday after suffering a concussion last week, but it appears he made even more progress Friday. No announcement has been made yet about Smith clearing the concussion protocol, but he appears to be trending in that direction. Smith returned kicks at Friday's practice, so if he plays Sunday, he could see action in that role if teammate Kenjon Barner (concussion/knee) is unable to go.

September 27, 2019 8:39 AM EST

Ito Smith: Puts in limited session

Smith (concussion) was a limited participant in Thursday's practice, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: According to Jason Butt of The Athletic, Smith was spotted in a black no-contact jersey during the session, but the fact that he put in some on-field work Thursday after being a non-participant in practice a day earlier suggests he's progressing well from the concussion. Regardless of what he's able to do at the Falcons' final practice of the week Friday, Smith will need to receive clearance from an independent neurologist in order to suit up Sunday against the Titans.

September 26, 2019 1:17 PM EST

Ito Smith: Present at practice Thursday

Smith (concussion) wore a black non-contact jersey at Thursday's practice, Kelsey Conway of the Falcons' official site reports.

Analysis: After sitting out Wednesday, Smith is showing signs of progress through the protocol for head injuries. It's unclear exactly where he stands, but his practice reps now will be monitored to see if he has a chance to play Sunday against the Titans.

September 26, 2019 11:06 AM EST

Ito Smith: Not practicing Wednesday

Smith (concussion) did not practice Wednesday, Jason Butt of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Smith was forced out of Week 3's loss to the Colts due to a concussion. He'll need to fully clear the league's protocol for head injuries before retaking the field. If Smith forced to miss any time, the Falcons will be forced to activate at least one of Qadree Ollison and Brian Hill versus the Titans in Week 4.

September 25, 2019 11:35 AM EST

Ito Smith: Officially has concussion

Smith has been diagnosed with a concussion and won't return to Sunday's contest at Indianapolis, Kelsey Conway of the Falcons' official site reports.

Analysis: Smith went down on the Falcons' first possession of the game, leaving the backfield with just two active bodies (Devonta Freeman and Kenjon Barner). If he's unable to get out of the protocol for head injuries in time for a Week 4 matchup with the Titans, Atlanta will be forced to activate rookie Qadree Ollison and/or Brian Hill for the first time this season.

September 22, 2019 11:50 AM EST

Ito Smith: Having head examined

Smith is under evaluation for a head injury, making him questionable to return to Sunday's game at Indianapolis, William McFadden of the Falcons' official site reports.

Analysis: Prior to getting injured on the Falcons' first drive of the contest, Smith tallied one carry for zero yards. If he's unable to return, the Falcons will be down to just two active running backs (Devonta Freeman and Kenjon Barner).

September 22, 2019 10:29 AM EST

Ito Smith: Peels off 28-yard scamper

Smith ran for 32 yards on four carries, adding two receptions for 13 yards during Sunday's 24-20 win against the Eagles.

Analysis: Outside of a 28-yard rush late in the third quarter, Smith averaged 2.3 on his other three carries against an Eagles defense that has stifled opponents to a meager 85 total rushing yards through Week 2. Be that as it may, Smith's efficiency has skyrocketed in the early going of his sophomore campaign, with his per carry average increasing from 3.5 as a rookie, to 6.3 yards thus far in 2019. Upcoming next for Smith and the Atlanta backfield is a matchup against a Saints defense that has proven to be rather porous against the run in allowing 147.5 yards per game.

September 16, 2019 5:50 PM EST

Ito Smith: Efficient Week 1 showing

Smith ran for 31 yards on six carries, and accounted for a nine-yard reception during Sunday's 28-12 loss to the Vikings.

Analysis: A lack of rushing efficiency has been the lone glaring flaw on Smith's resume to this point, as the second-year back has demonstrated proficiency in the passing game (27 receptions for 152 yards as a rookie), while reaching the end zone seven times on 124 preseason and regular-season carries. Prior to Sunday's tilt against Minnesota's menacing defensive front, Smith had averaged just 3.3 yards per attempt for his NFL career, but he kicked off Week 1 with a 16-yard gain on his very first touch, and concluded the afternoon with a team-best 5.2 yards per carry. Week 2's matchup against Philadelphia does not inspire confidence, however, as the Eagles contained Redskins backs Derrius Guice and Chris Thompson to a collective 28 rushing yards on 13 attempts Sunday.

September 9, 2019 6:50 AM EST

Ito Smith: Gets active tag Sunday

Smith is one of three active running backs on the Falcons' roster Sunday at Minnesota, Will McFadden of the team's official site reports.

Analysis: The Falcons opted to hold out Qadree Ollison and Brian Hill, leaving Smith, Devonta Freeman and Kenjon Barner as the sole available RBs. Freeman no doubt will lead the way, but this backfield has been notable for its propensity for two relevant options. With Freeman sidelined for much of last season, Smith served as the No. 2 to the departed Tevin Coleman, yet he averaged 8.4 touches per game, 3.5 yards per carry and 4.8 yards per target in 14 contests.

September 8, 2019 8:58 AM EST

Ito Smith: Scores in third straight game

Smith accounted for 23 yards and a touchdown on five carries, adding one catch for nine yards during Thursday's 19-7 loss to Washington.

Analysis: The second-year back has now hit pay dirt in three of four exhibition outings, after enduring a six-game touchdown slump to round out 2018. Concern is centered around his fantasy value being dependent on him getting into the end zone, as he's not an elite option out of the backfield in the passing game, and ranks well behind second-string competitors Qadree Ollison and Brian Hill with 2.88 yards per carry this preseason.

August 23, 2019 5:38 PM EST

Ito Smith: Scores another preseason TD

Smith garnered 13 yards and a touchdown on five rushing attempts and caught all three of his targets for 45 yards during Thursday's 22-10 loss to the Jets in Week 2 of preseason.

Analysis: Smith got into the end zone for the second straight preseason contest, converting from four yards out in the final minute of the first half. The second-year running back out of Southern Miss has established himself as the front runner to back up injury-prone starter Devonta Freeman.

August 15, 2019 8:36 PM EST

Ito Smith: Reaches end zone in preseason loss

Smith collected seven yards and a touchdown on four rush attempts during Thursday's 34-27 loss to the Dolphins.

Analysis: Thursday night's performance was a protypical outing for Smith, as he remained relatively inefficient on a per-carry basis but salvaged a respectable outing by rumbling his way into the end zone on a goal-line rush. Smith ran for just 3.5 yards per carry as a rookie, and yesterday had rushes of three, three and zero yards prior to his touchdown scamper, though it should be mentioned that two of those four total carries came inside the Miami five-yard line. He still seems to be the leader in the clubhouse to serve as the No. 2 option after Devonta Freeman, but coach Dan Quinn made it clear last Sunday that positioning for the backup running job remains fluid, with Smith, Qadree Ollison and Brian Hill each having a chance to take the reins.

August 9, 2019 4:28 PM EST

Ito Smith: Four touches in HOF game

Smith rushed three times for six yards and brought in his only target for six yards in the Falcons' 14-10 preseason loss to the Broncos on Thursday.

Analysis: Smith couldn't get much going on the ground while in the contest, gaining just two total yards on two of his three carries. The 2018 fourth-round pick is primarily battling fellow incumbent Brian Hill and rookie Qadree Ollison for depth chart slotting behind Devonta Freeman, and he'll presumably get a boost in touches in the forthcoming exhibitions after seeing Hill outpace him by eight carries Thursday.

August 1, 2019 8:51 PM EST

Ito Smith: Needs to battle rookie for work

The Falcons used a fifth-round pick (No. 152 overall) on Qadree Ollison to join Smith and Devonta Freeman in the backfield, Will McFadden of the team's official website reports.

Analysis: There was little question Atlanta would add backfield depth after losing Tevin Coleman to the 49ers in March. There's still a nice opportunity for Smith to earn the No. 2 job in a prolific offense, though he didn't make the best case for himself last season when he averaged 3.5 yards on 90 carries and 5.6 yards on 27 receptions. The Falcons did make aggressive moves to upgrade their mediocre offensive line during the offseason, and Smith should have a large advantage over the 228-pound Ollison when it comes to pass-catching skill. Of course, the Falcons likely will deploy a committee if Freeman struggles with injuries for a third straight year.

May 2, 2019 7:04 AM EST

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