Wendell Smallwood

Wendell Smallwood

Running Back #28
Team: Pittsburgh Steelers
Ht / Wt:5'10" / 208 lb.
College:West Virginia
Born:January 29, 1994
Drafted:2016 / Rd. 5 (153)
Draft Team:PHI

Wendell Smallwood: Back to practice squad

Smallwood reverted to Pittsburgh's practice squad Thursday, per the league's official transactions report.

Analysis: Smallwood was promoted for Wednesday's win over the Ravens as a reserve option, but he ultimately played just two snaps on special teams while Benny Snell and Anthony McFarland led Pittsburgh's backfield. It could require both James Conner (reserve/COVID-19 list) and Jaylen Samuels (quadriceps) missing more time for Smallwood to come off the practice squad again Week 13.

December 3, 2020 10:14 PM EST

Wendell Smallwood: No role in Week 12

Smallwood played two snaps -- both on special teams -- Wednesday in the Steelers' 19-14 win over the Ravens.

Analysis: With running backs James Conner (reserve/COVID-19 list) and Jaylen Samuels (quadriceps) sitting out the Week 12 contest, Smallwood was elevated from the practice squad to provide depth behind Benny Snell and Anthony McFarland. Pittsburgh should have one or both of Conner and Samuels back for their Week 13 game Monday versus Washington, so Smallwood will presumably revert to the practice squad in the coming days.

December 3, 2020 8:58 AM EST

Wendell Smallwood: Added to active roster

Smallwood has been added to the Steelers' active roster for Wednesday's game against the Ravens, Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Analysis: With James Conner (illness) and Jaylen Samuels (quad) unavailable for the contest, Smallwood is in line to serve as the Steelers' No. 3 running back Wednesday behind Benny Snell and Anthony McFarland.

December 2, 2020 10:09 AM EST

Wendell Smallwood: Lands on practice squad

The Steelers signed Smallwood to the practice squad Monday, Adam Caplan of SiriusXM NFL Radio reports.

Analysis: Smallwood was released Saturday but will stick around on the practice squad. The 2016 fifth-round pick contributes best as a pass-catcher, and he'd be a strong addition to the active roster if starter James Conner suffered another injury.

September 7, 2020 9:18 AM EST

Wendell Smallwood: Let go by Pittsburgh

Smallwood was cut by the Steelers on Sunday, Sean Gentille of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Smallwood dealt with a shoulder injury that kept him sidelined for the later stages of camp, so the injury could have something to do with his release. In his stead, the Steelers elected to keep James Conner, Benny Snell, Jaylen Samuels and Anthony McFarland (concussion). Smallwood could be an intriguing depth option elsewhere should injury or illness occur, as the 26-year-old rushed for 87 yards on 22 carries across 15 games for Washington last season.

September 6, 2020 7:56 AM EST

Wendell Smallwood: Remains absent from practice

Smallwood (shoulder) remained sidelined at Monday's practice, Dale Lolley of DKPittsburghSports.com reports.

Analysis: Smallwood injured his shoulder at Saturday's practice. The severity of the issue remains unclear, but he is not healthy enough to practice at this point. A quick return would be advantageous for his chances at locking down a role on the team's final roster.

August 24, 2020 4:31 PM EST

Wendell Smallwood: Injures shoulder in practice

Smallwood injured his shoulder in Saturday's practice, per coach Mike Tomlin, Teresa Varley of the Steelers' official site reports.

Analysis: Smallwood was enjoying a few extra reps with James Conner (undisclosed) sidelined, but the former Eagles draft pick got banged up in the process. He'll need to recover quickly and impress in camp in order to lock down a roster spot.

August 22, 2020 5:17 PM EST

Wendell Smallwood: Joins Steelers' backfield

The Steelers have signed Smallwood to a one-year contract, Dale Lolley of DKPittsburghSports.com reports.

Analysis: Smallwood saw limited action with Washington in 2019, but he adds some depth to Pittsburgh's backfield. The 26-year-old, who came into the NFL in 2016 as a fifth-round draft pick of the Eagles, will thus look to carve out a third-down/kick return role with the Steelers, who also roster fellow running backs James Conner, Jaylen Samuels, Benny Snell, Anthony McFarland and Kerrith Whyte.

July 28, 2020 10:39 AM EST

Wendell Smallwood: Barely plays on offense

Smallwood took three carries for five yards in Sunday's 47-16 loss to Dallas, finishing the 2019 season with 22 carries for 81 yards and nine catches for 64 yards in 15 games.

Analysis: Smallwood handled passing-down work while Chris Thompson dealt with a toe injury throughout much of October and November, but the 25-year-old ultimately played more snaps on special teams (221) than he did on offense (135). Thompson and Smallwood both are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents, while Derrius Guice (knee), Adrian Peterson and Bryce Love (knee) remain under contract with Washington.

December 31, 2019 7:42 AM EST

Wendell Smallwood: No offensive work vs. former team

Smallwood didn't log an offensive snap in Sunday's 37-27 loss to the Eagles.

Analysis: Smallwood contributed on special teams, but Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson garnered all the offensive duties. Over 13 games this year, Smallwood has rushed 19 times for 76 yards and caught nine passes for 64 yards.

December 16, 2019 12:55 PM EST

Wendell Smallwood: Minimal action in loss

Smallwood carried twice for four yards during Sunday's 20-15 loss to the Packers.

Analysis: Derrius Guice went down with a knee injury during the first half, but Smallwood still only ended up playing two offensive snaps. Guice was already ruled out Week 15 and could be sidelined longer, which could allow Smallwood to be worked into the gameplan. However, opportunities figure to remain scarce if Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson remain healthy.

December 9, 2019 1:29 PM EST

Wendell Smallwood: Not suiting up Sunday

Smallwood (coach's decision) is inactive for Sunday's game in Carolina.

Analysis: The Redskins are welcoming back pass-catching back Chris Thompson for the first time since Week 6, and with Derrius Guice available to the backfield, the Redskins have made Smallwood a healthy scratch. Without an injury to Thompson, Guice or Adrian Peterson, this may be Smallwood's reality for the foreseeable future.

December 1, 2019 8:47 AM EST

Wendell Smallwood: Barely plays

Smallwood didn't have any carries and caught his lone target for a three-yard gain in Sunday's 19-16 win over the Lions.

Analysis: Smallwood worked behind Derrius Guice and Adrian Peterson, while Chris Thompson (toe) missed another game. Smallwood could be a healthy scratch if Thompson makes it back for Week 13 at Carolina.

November 24, 2019 8:16 PM EST

Wendell Smallwood: Quiet in Guice's first game back

Smallwood caught one of three targets for 11 yards in Sunday's 34-17 loss to the Jets.

Analysis: Smallwood got some work on passing downs, but it was Adrian Peterson and Derrius Guice who handled all of the backfield carries. Smallwood may drop out of the offense entirely before the end of the season, especially if Chris Thompson (toe) ever gets healthy. Next up for Washington is a Week 12 matchup with the Lions.

November 17, 2019 6:50 PM EST

Wendell Smallwood: Should have passing-down role

Offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell said Friday that he has confidence in Smallwood's ability to fill the injured Chris Thompson's (toe) usual duties on passing downs Week 7 against the 49ers, Kyle Stackpole of the Redskins' official site reports.

Analysis: The oft-injured Thompson will miss his first game of the season Sunday, opening the door for Smallwood to see an enhanced role on offense after the bulk of his snaps came on special teams in the first six weeks. Though Smallwood will likely struggle to match the 4.5 catches per game and 10.2 yards per reception Thompson has delivered to date, the former still represents a much better option in the passing game than the only other healthy back on the roster, Adrian Peterson. Washington may still promote Craig Reynolds from the practice squad ahead of Sunday's game, but his lack of prior NFL experience is probably enough to keep him behind Smallwood in the backfield hierarchy.

October 18, 2019 2:37 PM EST

Wendell Smallwood: Garners one carry

Smallwood gained four yards on his lone carry of Sunday's 17-16 win over the Dolphins.

Analysis: Coming off a six-touch game in Week 5, Smallwood was mostly an afterthought Sunday as Adrian Peterson rumbled for a season-best game. The good news for Smallwood is that he may be in line for an uptick in touches should Chris Thompson (toe) miss Sunday's contest. The bad news is that that game is against the 49ers, the sixth-best run defense in the league surrendering just 87.2 yards per game.

October 15, 2019 8:29 PM EST

Wendell Smallwood: Gains 27 yards

Smallwood carried the ball six times for 27 yards during Sunday's 33-7 loss to New England.

Analysis: Smallwood garnered more touches Sunday than the rest of his 2019 season combined Sunday. It's telling, however, that all six came in the second half and four of them came during the final four plays of the game, with Washington just looking to just exit unscathed. Washington is now being led by long-time offensive-line coach Bill Callahan and are up against a Miami defense surrendering a league-high 175.8 rushing yards per game, but Smallwood is unlikely to get many of those carries when they matter most.

October 8, 2019 3:42 PM EST

Wendell Smallwood: Gets a few touches

Smallwood had one carry for four yards and two catches for nine yards in Sunday's 31-21 loss to Dallas.

Analysis: Adrian Peterson got the carries (10) and the lone backfield touchdown, while Chris Thompson caught five of eight targets for 48 yards. Smallwood played 26 percent of snaps on offense, but two of his three touches occurred late in the fourth quarter when Washington was down by 17 points. His role isn't likely to be much bigger Week 3 against Chicago.

September 16, 2019 11:46 AM EST

Wendell Smallwood: Slated for situational action

Coach Jay Gruden said Sunday that Smallwood will be involved in the offense on a situational basis for Sunday's game against Dallas, Ed Werder of ESPN reports.

Analysis: With a multitude of injuries to the defense, Gruden added that he wants to use a ball-control offense to churn clock and keep his defense off the field for Week 2. With that, Smallwood could see a few carries behind Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson on Sunday, even evolved in the passing game. In any event, it's likely that Smallwood's involvement in the offense isn't enough to warrant serious fantasy consideration until he's involved more consistently.

September 15, 2019 7:45 AM EST

Wendell Smallwood: Strictly plays special teams

Smallwood played zero snaps on offense and 19 on special teams in Sunday's 32-27 loss to the Eagles.

Analysis: Smallwood faced his former team exactly a week after being claimed off waivers. His inclusion on the active roster over Adrian Peterson (healthy scratch) was controversial among veterans on the Washington roster, though it's standard for NFL coaches to prioritize special-teams value for the No. 3 running back spot. Even if he's active again, Smallwood isn't likely to see work on offense Week 2 against the Cowboys.

September 9, 2019 8:11 AM EST

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