RB Ito Smith - Atlanta Falcons

5-9, 195Born: 9-11-1995College: Southern MississippiDrafted: Round 4, pick 2018

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Week 11: at Carolina Panthers

All RB vs CAR

FBG says: Good matchup. With Devonta Freeman looking unlikely to suit up Sunday, third-year reserve Brian Hill should take the reins in Atlanta's backfield, and he could well prove the team's best option on the ground. Hill is a quick-footed runner with size (6-foot-1 and 220 pounds), and he's been extremely efficient in a backup role. He only managed 61 yards on his 20 relief carries last week, but had averaged 6.0 yards per carry over his first 21 NFL games. For his part, Freeman has been running in quicksand for much of the year, producing just 3.5 per rush. He's only topped 40 yards twice over 9 games, and he's yet to find the end zone on the ground. Even if he plays, the team may ask Hill to cut a bit into his 67% workload. Unfortunately, he'd find himself working behind a wildly underachieving offensive line. The Falcons have been beset by injuries and lineup changes on the interior, resulting in far fewer holes than Freeman and the Falcons are used to seeing. The Carolina run defense has fallen off majorly in 2019. They now sit dead last league-wide in both yardage per attempt and touchdowns allowed. The Panthers are generally stout up front, with Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe heading a powerful, dynamic interior. But there have been a ton of lapses on the second level of the defense, with even linebacker Luke Kuechly flailing at times. Shaq Thompson has been up-and-down next to him, and the secondary continues to struggle when helping in the box. The Falcons' run game is banged up and in transition, but could hardly ask for a better tune-up situation.

Recent Stats and Projections

7 vs LAR 3 1 7 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0.7

Weekly Performance vs RB 1, RB 12, RB 24, RB 36

Percentile ranks

Ito Smith's percentile rank in each category, among RB with more than 50 fantasy points.

Recent Game Summaries

2019 Week 7 vs LAR (1 / 7 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Smith earned seven yards up the middle after Atlanta crossed midfield during its initial drive. Corey Littleton ran over Smith during a third-down blitz pickup and Smith was on the field for some time with the before getting carted off. He was hit helmet to helmet and knocked backward onto his head and flat on his back.

2019 Week 6 vs ARI (3 / 6 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

He got stuffed on his first carry for a short loss in the red zone late in the second quarter. Smith earned a first down just before the two-minute warning on a short run off left tackle late in the game with the Cardinals ahead 34-27.

2019 Week 5 vs HOU (5 / 19 / 0 rush, 6 / 6 / 45 / 0 rec)

He gained three on his first touch during the third possession after executing a cutback to right guard. He then cut down hill on the next run designed for an off-tackle play and earned 11 yards. Smith earned a yard later in the series up the middle to end the first quarter. Smith picked up a first down from a shotgun play on third and short. Smith committed a holding call on Bradley Roby to prevent the cornerback blitz from earning the sack. A few plays later, he caught a short pass and the Texans committed a facemask penalty that put the ball in the red zone and prevented a third and short. Smith got run over by Zach Cunningham's pressure up the middle on the next play and he held the blitzer to prevent another sack. Smith couldn't avoid a pair of flat defenders on a short pass after his second penalty and earned only a few yards. Smith earned a dump-off on 3rd and 20 for a gain of 10 and Atlanta punted away Atlanta's first drive of the third quarter. Smith stumbled after the catch of an empty set slant in the left flat on third down in the red zone and came up a yard short while down 16 points early in the fourth quarter. Two plays later, the Texans stuffed Smith on a run from the one up left guard.

2019 Week 4 vs TEN (2 / 11 / 1 rush, 4 / 2 / 20 / 0 rec)

He took an I-formation, inside zone run for 10 yards up the middle to the Titans' 1. He followed up with a score off right guard to tie the game. Ryan overshot Smith in the left flat on 1st and 10 with a lot of room up the left flat in the red zone. Pressure forced Ryan to hurry the throw. Smith earned a pair of check-downs in garbage-time.

2019 Week 3 vs IND (1 / 0 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

The Colts stuffed Smith on a shotgun run off left end during the first drive. Smith tried bouncing a third and five run outside during the first drive but the Colts stuffed him and a holding call pushed Atlanta further back during this initial series. Smith staggered off the sideline on the following play when he was blocking as a pass protector. He was helped off the field by a pair of trainers. He was evaluated for a concussion as well as a neck injury.

2019 Week 2 vs PHI (4 / 32 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 13 / 0 rec)

He weaved his way for a first down on a 2nd and 1 during the first drive after Freeman earned four carries early on. Smith dropped a high throw in the flat on 2nd and 16 during the first drive after taking a hit. He earned a quick five yards leaking from the backfield to begin the second drive with the offense backed up at its one yard-line. Smith later weaved his way through traffic for four yards on a screen pass late in the second quarter. Taking over for Freeman inside the 5 after Freeman's 29-yard shovel-pas-and-runs to open the third quarter, Smith had the best run of the night late in the third quarter on a draw play where he made multiple defenders miss.

2019 Week 1 vs MIN (6 / 31 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 9 / 0 rec)

A bright spot during this debacle, Smith's best gain was a 17-yard run on a cutback from a two tight end set and later in the same drive a pass reception that set up a short-yardage run for a first down. Smith had a pair of blitz pickup opportunities during the game. The first came late in the half when he got pushed back into Matt Ryan's lap by Anthony Barr and the second was a nice pick-up through the A gap that set up a third-down conversion for Austin Hooper. Smith later spun off a pair of tackles on a cutback during the fourth quarter.


Latest News

Falcons | Ito Smith placed on IR (Sat Nov 9, 01:02 PM) - Atlanta Falcons RB Ito Smith (concussion) on Saturday, Nov. 9, was placed on the Reserve/Injured list.

Our View: Without Smith, the Falcons turn to Brian Hill as a primary backup to Devonta Freeman. Hill is a good all-purpose running back who can contribute as a runner or receiver out of the backfield. He's looked good in limited touches during his pro career.
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Falcons | Atlanta's injury report for Week 10 (Fri Nov 8, 04:00 PM) - Atlanta Falcons DE John Cominsky (ankle) and RB Ito Smith (neck) were held out of practice all week and have been ruled out for Week 10 versus the New Orleans Saints. OG Wes Schweitzer (concussion) did not practice for a second straight day on Friday, Nov. 8, and has also been ruled out. CB Desmond Trufant (toe) was a limited participant all week and is listed as questionable. QB Matt Ryan (ankle) and OG Jamon Brown (foot) were also limited participants in practice all week but have been removed from the injury report. OG James Carpenter (knee) and TE Jaeden Graham (knee) were upgraded to full participation Friday and also no longer appear on the injury report.

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Falcons | Ito Smith ruled out Week 10 (Fri Nov 8, 01:10 PM) - Atlanta Falcons RB Ito Smith (neck) on Friday, Nov. 8, was ruled out of the team's Week 10 game against the New Orleans Saints.

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Falcons | Ito Smith sits out again (Thu Nov 7, 05:12 PM) - Atlanta Falcons RB Ito Smith (neck) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 7.

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Falcons | Ito Smith does not practice (Wed Nov 6, 05:16 PM) - Atlanta Falcons RB Ito Smith (neck) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 6.

Our View: Smith has had multiple concussions this year and now he's on the injury report with a neck issue. Don't expect to see him this week. Brian Hill will get another chance to back up Devonta Freeman.
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More News

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11@ Carolina Panthers
12vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
13vs New Orleans Saints
14vs Carolina Panthers
15@ San Francisco 49ers
16vs Jacksonville Jaguars
17@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers