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Smith back on the field

Posted Oct 10, 2012

After missing three games with a concussion, Browns tight end Alex Smith has returned to practice and is looking forward to playing against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

When the Cleveland Browns last played the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 16 in Cincinnati, veteran tight end Alex Smith was having a productive day on the field. Smith caught three passes for 30 yards and two of those receptions went for first downs.

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.”

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