When the Cleveland Browns last played the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 16 in Cincinnati, veteran tight end
However, that production came to an end when Smith suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter of the game and did not return.
After missing three games with the concussion, Smith returned to practice on a limited basis on Wednesday afternoon.
“I missed being out there with the guys,” Smith said. “Just getting back out there and playing football again was a big, big joy to me. I would like to be back as soon as possible. I hate not being out there with my guys, but now that we are down some guys, hopefully, I can step in and help us out wherever they need me.”
Smith said his headaches related to the concussion were gone after a couple days and credited the Browns’ medical staff with their thoroughness in making sure he was completely symptom-free before letting the eight-year veteran back onto the field.
“The training staff did a great job with taking all the proper precautions and making sure I was not on the field until I felt 100 percent,” Smith said. “Once I finally got to that point and got cleared, they said I was good to go and I’m out there.
“I had a chance to meet with a lot of specialists and a lot of guys that have taken some time to study what goes on with concussions. They told me they saw no reason why I couldn’t go out there and continue as I always have. Once I got that vote of confidence, that’s all I really needed. If they said something otherwise, I might have considered it differently, but I feel great.”
On the year, Smith caught four passes for 29 yards. He averaged 7.3 yards per reception and had a long reception of 17 yards against the Bengals. Smith served as the game captain for the team’s season-opener against his former squad, the Philadelphia Eagles.
When he gets back into the game, Smith expressed a desire to do whatever he needs to be productive on the field.
“I try to do whatever’s asked of me, whether it’s on special teams, whether it’s finding a role on offense,” Smith said. “I know we’re down some receivers, so we might see more tight ends. More than anything, I just want to bring some energy. A lot of guys said they missed having me out there and that meant a lot just to hear those types of things. If I can bring that energy, bring some juice to get guys fired up, I think that’d be big.”