Wednesday, November 2, 2016, 6:39pm
Buccaneers RB Jacquizz Rodgers (foot, out) did not practice Wednesday. Doug Martin (hamstring, out) did not practice Wednesday. According to ESPN’s Jenna Laine, Antone Smith is the most likely back to lead the team in touches this week, but it’s a fluid situation.
Rodgers underwent an MRI, which revealed no fractures, the source said. He was wearing a walking boot on his left foot Monday.
Running back Mike James made the Buccaneers’ initial 53-man roster before being waived/injured before the season opener and eventually released with an injury settlement. He spent time with the Lions practice squad earlier this month, but recently became eligible to return to the Buccaneers and, per multiple reports, that’s exactly what he will do.
Rodgers suffered a sprained foot and joins Doug Martin and Charles Sims as injured members of the Tampa backfield. Sims is on injured reserve, but Martin can return at any point if his hamstring is healthy. With the Bucs on a short practice week before the Falcons this Thursday, the wait for Martin may have to wait at least another week.
The Buccaneers are going into a short week, and they’re going in short on running backs.
“I don’t think it’s probably good,” Koetter said, via Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times. “But I don’t know for sure. It’s something to do with his ankle.”
Rodgers had topped 100 yards in his previous two games, and had 69 yards on 19 carries yesterday before leaving. He was replaced by veteran Antone Smith, and the Bucs don’t have many other options, with a game against the Falcons looming on Thursday. Undrafted rookie Peyton Barber’s the only other running back on the roster at the moment.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016, 10:50am
The 5’9”, 192-pound Smith, a Florida State product entering his seventh NFL season, appeared in five games with the Chicago Bears last season. An undrafted free agent who spent his first five credited NFL seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, Smith has averaged 9.9 yards on his 30 NFL carries and totaled 7 touchdowns on 45 touches.
Tuesday, October 13, 2015, 2:14pm
The Chicago Bears had to replace a running back on the roster this week.
Third-down specialist Jacquizz Rodgers broke his arm against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 5, so the team placed him on season-ending injured reserve. The Bears signed another former Falcon, Antone Smith, to replace Rodgers.
Klein's tweet said the Falcons are working on an injury settlement Smith. If nothing is agreed, he’ll be placed on IR. Bottom line, he’s done playing for Falcons. Smith has had a lingering hamstring injury. He was explosive last year with several big play TDs, but it looks like the RB work belongs to Devanta Freeman and Tevin Coleman now. Jerome Smith could be next up on the depth chart as the team's RB3.
Monday, August 17, 2015, 12:48pm
They may not need Royster to fill that role for too much longer, however. Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman both suited up for Monday’s practice and multiple reports from Falcons practice had them taking part in individual drills while sitting out the team portions of the workout.
Assuming neither player hits any snags in their recovery, both Freeman and Coleman should be back into those drills without much more delay. Antone Smith, who is also battling a hamstring injury, remained out of practice on Monday which left Terron Ward running with the first team once again.
Coleman and Freeman are competing for the team’s starting running back job, although it wouldn’t come as a great surprise if they both wind up with sizable roles on offense in Atlanta this season, the story said.
Sunday, August 16, 2015, 1:52pm
Royster, a sixth-round draft pick by the Redskins in 2011, adds depth to a position depleted by injuries. Running backs Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman and, most recently, Antone Smith have suffered hamstring injuries. Smith was hurt while scoring a touchdown in the Falcons' 31-24 preseason win over Tennessee on Friday night.
Saturday, August 8, 2015, 10:37am
Atlanta Falcons fans are used to seeing Antone Smith break off big plays. Remember, he scored five touchdowns of 38-plus yards last season and averaged a whopping 51 yards per scoring play. But Smith's big-play ability has been in hibernation ever since he broke his leg last November at Carolina.
Friday's practice at Buford High School sure made it look like Smith was back to his old self, even if he didn't want to admit it.
"I'm getting there," Smith said. "I'm right where I need to be at this time right now."
Smith has been the forgotten man in running back rotation with so much emphasis on the competition between likely starter Devonta Freeman and rookie Tevin Coleman. But with both Freeman and Coleman likely sidelined the next two weeks with hamstring strains, Smith should be featured more in practice.
The Falcons opted to let undrafted rookie Terron Ward immediately take first-team reps following the injuries to Freeman and Coleman. Maybe it's because the coaches just want to give the younger guys more work, the story said. But, Smith may not be a bell cow type of back despite having the potential to bust off big plays. However that skill set is a risk for fantasy lineups, perhaps outside of very deep leagues. Smith isn't even getting drafted and is ranked 61st on our list of RBs.
“In this league it takes a group at that spot,” Ryan said. “I think we have the right group to do it.”
“Anytime you can run the football and you can run it effectively is slows down the pass rush,” Ryan said. “That’s the goal for us, to be balanced on offense and to be able to get that run game going. I think Kyle has a great scheme in terms of the zone blocking scheme. We have to rep it. Get better at it. Get on the same page, all 11 of us on offense. Once we do that, I think that will help.”
The story added that Ryan wouldn't pick a favorite out of the group, and he very well may be taking the high road as a lot needs to be sorted out as far as the Falcons RBs go. The Falcons are installing a outside-zone blocking scheme under new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan the story added.
Although the running back battle between second-year player Devonta Freeman and rookie Tevin Coleman is sure to be a storyline throughout training camp, Coleman downplayed the significance following Friday's first day of camp.
Freeman remained with the first team, while Coleman and Antone Smith worked behind Freeman. Coleman is focused on adjusting from the college to the NFL game.
With Steven Jackson out of the way, GM Thomas Dimitroff said that there was “no question” that Freeman is ready to be the feature back in Atlanta, though the team threw cold water on that notion by drafting Coleman. Freeman wasn't terribly impressive in his rookie season (248 yards rushing, 3.8 YPC), but he was active and effective in the passing game (30 catches for 225 yards), so we’re expecting he’ll be PPR-relevant as part of a timeshare.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015, 10:01am
Falcons RB Antone Smith, who suffered a broken leg in November, returned to action Tuesday and showed no signs of injury. The veteran running back didn’t miss a beat and moved well during agility drills. Quinn envisions Smith as a key asset moving forward — particularly on special teams.
“The speed I think is the first thing that jumps out,” Quinn said of Smith. “It’s been awesome getting him back in the mix this week.”
Falcons beat writer Vaughn McClure:
The running back position became compelling when the Falcons drafted Indiana’s Tevin Coleman in the third round. Coleman, a 2,000-yard rusher last season, boldly claimed he was ready to take over the starting job. Problem is, the Falcons have expressed plenty of faith in second-year player Devonta Freeman, who told me he wants to take his game to another level and maybe be in the MVP conversation one day. Freeman and Coleman will push each other daily, which should only benefit the Falcons going into the 2015 season. Freeman has impressed the new coaching staff with his pass-catching skills, while both players have to show the ability to consistently block when it comes to pass protection. I anticipate a two-back system with equal reps as the Falcons make a concerted effort to bring more offensive balance with a stronger run game. And don’t count out the contribution of explosive Antone Smith, who could be back to his old self once he fully recovers from a broken leg.
We currently project Coleman for 248 touches and Freeman for 160, with Smith seeing 68 touches if his leg is fully recovered. This could be a fairly ugly committee, though the overall production could be solid with Kyle Shanahan running things.
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