Atlanta Falcons running back Antone Smith is out for the season after being placed on injured reserve with a broken leg.
Smith, 29, was injured playing on special teams in the Falcons' 19-17 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. He was the third-leading rusher for the Falcons with 23 carries and 144 yards, though his 6.3 yards-per-carry average led the team (for all players with double-digit attempts). Smith also recorded five plays of at least 38 yards this season (two rushing, three receiving). His 23 carries on the season are 12 fewer than backup Devonta Freeman and 105 fewer than starter Steven Jackson.
Smith's contract also expires after this season, meaning he could've played his last snap for the Falcons. He joined the Falcons' practice squad in 2009 and signed a futures contract the following season.
For his career, Smith has 29 carries for 286 yards and four touchdowns. He also has caught 15 passes for 232 yards and three touchdowns.
In Smith's absence, Freeman is expected to see an increased workload behind Jackson. Atlanta ranks 25th in rushing at 96.1 yards per game.
Falcons head coach Mike Smith also said Monday that starting cornerback Robert Alford will miss 2-4 weeks with a wrist injury suffered in Sunday's game. The coach said Robert McClain will take over Alford's spot in the secondary.
- Mike Fiammetta