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The Atlanta Falcons placed rookie running back Ito S

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The Atlanta Falcons placed rookie running back Ito S
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mith on injured reserve with a knee injury on Monday and are moving closer to ruling out a return for starter Devonta Freeman this season.Coach Dan Quinn said Monday Smith will have surgery this week.Smith Jordan Phillips Jersey , a rookie, was questionable with back and knee injuries before aggravating the knee injury in Sunday's 40-14 win over the Arizona Cardinals . Quinn said the injury is not to Smith's anterior cruciate ligament.Smith is the ninth Atlanta player to be placed on IR this season.Quinn said it is "unlikely" Freeman will return this season. Freeman, placed on IR on Oct. 16 with a groin injury, isn't ready to practice for this week's game at Carolina.This is the first week Freeman would have been eligible to return, though that was never considered a strong possibility.Quinn stopped short of saying Freeman had no chance to return but said "... he's not ready to practice yet so unless that would change this week, that's probably where we'll stay. We were going to give him every option we could to make sure we're looking out for him and to keep making progress, but I think that would be unlikely at this point."Freeman, who ran for more than 1,000 yards in both 2015 and 2016, had only 14 carries for 68 yards in two games this season before finally being placed on IR.The injury to Freeman, one of the NFL's highest-paid running backs, was a devastating blow to the Atlanta offense. Quarterback Matt Ryan counts on the running game to set up play-action passes.The Falcons entered the game against Arizona ranked last in the league in rushing . Atlanta (5-9) snapped a five-game losing streak with the win.Freeman's injury created an opening for Smith to play behind Tevin Coleman .Smith ran for 315 yards, averaging 3.5 yards per carry, with four touchdowns this season. He had 27 receptions for 152 yards.Smith, a fourth-round draft pick from Southern Mississippi, earned a larger role late in the season and appears to have won Quinn's trust as a part of the offense in 2019."He's shown he can catch the ball out of the backfield, he can protect," Quinn said. "Having those kinds of moments I think were important steps in his progress. That's what I told him today. Not only showing you belong, this is the offense you can thrive in. You can catch, you can run zone, you can make people miss. I think he's got a big future."Brian Hill, who had three carries for seven yards against the Cardinals, is expected to see a larger role against Carolina. The Falcons likely will sign veteran running back Jeremy Langford from their practice squad. MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — The Miami Dolphins devised a simple plan to keep Khalil Mack out of their backfield.“We had about four guys blocking him,” Miami coach Adam Gase said.But what happened to the rest of the Chicago Bears‘ defense? A unit stirring memories of the Bears’ glory days gave up 541 yards Sunday in a 31-28 overtime loss.And Miami played without quarterback Ryan Tannehill DeVante Parker Jersey , inactive because of an injury to his throwing shoulder. Replacement Brock Osweiler threw for a career-high 380 yards .Four Miami plays gained more than 30 yards, including catch-and-run touchdowns covering 43 and 75 yards by Albert Wilson. The breakdowns were surprising from a defense that allowed only 65 points in the first four games this year.“Can’t give up too many big plays for what we’re capable of on defense,” Mack said.The two-time All-Pro linebacker was especially quiet with two tackles. Mack suffered an ankle injury early in the game and briefly went to the sideline, and his 2018 streak of at least one sack and one forced fumble in every game came to an end.The Bears (3-2), who were averaging 4½ sacks per game, totaled none even though Osweiler threw 44 times. Defensive tackle Akiem Hicks found it difficult to evaluate the pass rush.“We didn’t get any sacks,” he said. “You can’t assess it when you don’t get any sacks.”Run defense was no better. Frank Gore, the Dolphins’ ageless 35-year-old running back, gained 101 yards in 15 carries. Teammate Kenyan Drake added 57 yards.“It all starts with stopping the run,” Mack said, “and we didn’t do a good job with that today.”The fourth quarter was again a problem for the defense, which failed to protect a 21-10 lead with 16 minutes left. Of the 96 points allowed this season by the Bears, 60 have come after the third quarter.Miami had 387 yards after halftime. A sunny, 90-degree afternoon might have been a factor in the Bears’ fade, both on offense and defense.Guard Kyle Long, for one, hadn’t read the forecast.“It was a shocker when we walked out of the locker room and it’s 400 degrees in the shade,” he said.But the defense made mistakes early in the game, too. Linebacker Leonard Floyd was called for unnecessary roughness when he body-slammed receiver Danny Amendola , which led to the only touchdown in the first half.“He was trying to gain more yards,” Floyd said, “and I was trying to stop him.”Coach Matt Nagy declined to discuss Floyd’s play. Otherwise, Nagy preferred to praise the Dolphins rather than criticize his defense.“You have got to give credit to them for playing a good game,” Nagy said. “They made plays.”



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Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:17 am