Smith seems poised to start at wide receiver in 2021, Katherine Terrell of the Athletic reports.
Analysis: After releasing incumbent No. 2 wideout Emmanuel Sanders this offseason, New Orleans surprised some people by ignoring wide receivers during the early rounds of last weekend's NFL Draft. By instead waiting until the seventh round to merely add Kawaan Baker out of South Alabama, the Saints appear content with Smith as the second option behind Michael Thomas while a slew of undrafted holdovers (Juwan Johnson, Deonte Harris, Lil'Jordan Humphrey) duke it out for tertiary roles. However, potential fantasy investors will need to keep tabs on who will be throwing Smith passes this fall, as the speedster figures to have a much different outlook with the strong-armed Jameis Winston (who tossed Smith a 56-yard bomb in Week 17 of last season) under center than he would with dual-threat quarterback Taysom Hill.
May 3, 2021 11:08 AM EST
Smith (ankle) was activated from injured reserve prior to Sunday's contest, cashing in on all three of his targets for 85 yards and two touchdowns in a 30-20 divisional round loss to Tampa Bay.
Analysis: 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 the 24-year-old 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 year even with a declining Brees starting for most of the season.
Jan 17, 2021 9:47 PM EST
Smith (ankle) has been activated from injured reserve by the Saints.
Analysis: Smith is thus available for 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 the Saints' three-receiver sets. In 14 regular-season outings, Smith caught 34 of his 50 targets for 448 yards and four TDs.
Jan 16, 2021 1:46 PM EST
The Saints designated Smith (ankle) for return from injured reserve Wednesday, Luke Johnson of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.
Analysis: Smith has been on IR since Week 15 but returned to practice Wednesday, Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football reports. Depending on how much he's able to do at practice, the Saints could opt to fully activate Smith from IR in time for Sunday's divisional-round matchup against Tampa Bay. That would put New Orleans' receiver corps at full strength, with Smith lining up alongside Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders in three-wide sets.
Jan 13, 2021 2:54 PM EST
Smith (ankle) could be ready to return for the NFC divisional round, per teammate Deonte Harris, Katherine Terrell of The Athletic reports.
Analysis: 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.
Jan 10, 2021 5:53 PM EST
The Saints placed Smith (ankle) on injured reserve Thursday, Larry Holder of The Athletic reports.
Analysis: 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 indicates 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.
Dec 24, 2020 1:20 PM EST
The Saints ruled Smith (ankle) out for Friday's game against the Vikings.
Analysis: Smith wasn't able to practice Tuesday through Thursday after injuring his right ankle in last weekend's loss to the Chiefs, making it an easy decision for the Saints to rule him out for the Week 16 game. According to Luke Johnson of The New Orleans Times-Picayune, Smith posted a photograph on social media Wednesday featuring his ankle heavily taped up, which could point toward a multi-game absence. For now, the Saints haven't commented on Smith's status beyond ruling him out for the Christmas Day game.
Dec 24, 2020 1:13 PM EST
Smith (ankle) didn't practice Wednesday.
Analysis: Smith injured his ankle Week 15 against the Chiefs and has yet to take the practice field this week, which isn't a great sign as the Saints prepare to host the Vikings on Friday. In the wake of New Orleans placing Michael Thomas (ankle) on IR and Smith's own health concern, Emmanuel Sanders, Juwan Johnson and Tommylee Lewis are the team's remaining wide receivers on the active roster.
Dec 23, 2020 2:26 PM EST
Smith (ankle) didn't participate in Tuesday's practice, Katherine Terrell of The Athletic reports.
Analysis: The Saints haven't offered much clarity on the severity of the ankle injury Smith sustained in Sunday's loss to the Chiefs, but his absence from practice two days later hints that the wideout may be dealing with more than a mild concern. Smith will have two more days to try and increase his activity on practice before the Saints rule on his status for Friday's game against the Vikings. With Michael Thomas (ankle) on injured reserve, Emmanuel Sanders would serve as the Saints' clear No. 1 wideout if Smith is forced to miss the Week 16 contest.
Dec 22, 2020 2:12 PM EST
Smith (ankle) is questionable to return to Sunday's game against the Chiefs, John DeShazier of the Saints' official site reports.
Analysis: Smith secured one of two targets for 25 yards before being forced out of Sunday's contest. With Michael Thomas (ankle) on IR, it will be a notable blow to New Orleans' receiving corps if Smith can't return. Behind Emmanuel Sanders, the Saints' only remaining wideouts are Juwan Johnson, Lil'Jordan Humphrey and Tommylee Lewis.
Dec 20, 2020 4:11 PM EST
Smith looks set for expanded opportunities on offense with Michael Thomas (ankle) to be placed on IR, Amie Just of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.
Analysis: Smith was already primed for a starting role in New Orleans' receiving corps, but it will be significant if the team's top target threat is indeed placed on IR for the rest of the regular season. Smith and Emmanuel Sanders served as the Saints' top two receivers from Weeks 2-5, when Thomas was sidelined with a high-ankle sprain. Smith averaged five targets per game in that span, and he put up a two-touchdown performance against the Lions. He and Sanders are the Saints' only fully healthy wideouts heading into Sunday's game against the Chiefs, with Deonte Harris (neck) questionable.
Dec 19, 2020 11:59 AM EST
Smith hauled in three of six targets for 60 yards in the Saints' 24-21 loss to the Eagles on Sunday.
Analysis: Though he failed to find the end zone, Smith finished with a solid performance against Philly, as he drew six targets and caught three balls for the second week in a row. He'll look to post another solid game when the Saints face the Chiefs in Week 15.
Dec 13, 2020 8:27 PM EST
Smith secured three of six targets for 42 receiving yards and one touchdown during Sunday's 21-16 win against Atlanta.
Analysis: Smith secured Taysom Hill's first career NFL touchdown pass at the 7:01 mark of the first quarter, finding a hole in the Falcons' defense for the uncontested score. He enjoyed a huge spike in involvement, garnering seven targets after attracting just four combined pass attempts between Weeks 9 and 12. The Central Florida product is one score away from opening his career with three straight five-TD campaigns.
Dec 6, 2020 4:47 PM EST
Smith hauled in his only target for 16 yards in the Saints' 31-3 win over the Broncos on Sunday.
Analysis: Surprisingly, Smith was one of just two Saints pass-catchers to accumulate double-digit receiving yards (Michael Thomas being the other) in a game where Taysom Hill threw for just 78 yards. New Orleans crushed Denver on the ground to the tune of 229 rushing yards, accounting for the paltry passing stats. Smith will look to bounce back in a favorable matchup with Atlanta in Week 13.
Nov 29, 2020 5:11 PM EST
Smith (concussion) doesn't have an injury designation for Sunday's game against the Falcons, Amie Just of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.
Analysis: Smith didn't take long to pass through the concussion protocol, despite taking a big hit in last week's win over the 49ers. He's seen only three targets on 51 snaps since Michael Thomas returned from an ankle injury, and it's unlikely the temporary QB switch from Drew Brees (thumb) to Taysom Hill will be beneficial for the Saints' pass catchers.
Nov 20, 2020 2:49 PM EST
Smith (concussion) was limited at practice Thursday, Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football reports.
Analysis: Smith was leveled and removed for good during the second quarter of this past Sunday's win versus the 49ers. A concussion was the result of the play, but he now has made some progress through the protocol for head injuries. Still, Smith was donning a red non-contact jersey Thursday, per Katherine Terrell of The Athletic, so a cloud is hanging over his head as the weekend draws closer.
Nov 19, 2020 1:37 PM EST
Smith (concussion) is not participating in Wednesday's practice, Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football reports.
Analysis: Smith was forced out of last weekend's win over the 49ers after taking a big hit, and he'll now need to fully clear the league's five-step concussion protocol before retaking the field. Deonte Harris and Marquez Callaway will be candidates to for increased roles behind Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders if Smith is unable to play Week 11.
Nov 18, 2020 12:49 PM EST
Smith won't return to Sunday's contest against the 49ers due to a concussion, Katherine Terrell of The Athletic reports.
Analysis: In the aftermath of a big hit in the second quarter, Smith remained on the turf for some time before needing assistance to reach the sideline and eventually go to the locker room. Before he departed, he was held without a catch on one target. Look for Deonte Harris and potentially Marquez Callaway to get any targets that don't go to starting wide receivers Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders.
Nov 15, 2020 3:12 PM EST
Smith (head) went to the locker room during the second quarter of Sunday's game versus the 49ers, Katherine Terrell of The Athletic reports.
Analysis: Smith took a huge hit and didn't move on the turf for a spell, but he eventually was able to walk of the field with some assistance. Considering the nature of the play, he may be undergoing neurological testing to determined if he suffered a concussion. In any case, Smith only received the one target before his departure.
Nov 15, 2020 2:51 PM EST
Smith brought in one of two targets for a 14-yard touchdown in the Saints' 38-3 win over the Buccaneers on Sunday.
Analysis: As expected, Smith saw his target share dwindle with Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders back in the lineup. Though he salvaged his day with a touchdown, the single target was far from encouraging. Smith will be a boom-or-bust option with New Orleans' receiving corps nearing full strength.
Nov 9, 2020 1:44 PM EST
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