After practicing Monday and avoiding questions from reporters about being detained at the airport with a device designed to fool drug tests, Smith missed Tuesday's workout. That absence that was termed "personal." He returned to work Wednesday, but he was used far less than a normal No. 2 back.
Said offensive coordinator Steve Loney of Smith's situation: "I had a high school coach one time, he stuck his finger in a glass of water and he said when you're not here you're going to leave the same hole on the team as I'm going to leave in the glass of water when I pull my finger out. And it really is true – you pull it out and something else fills in there. To me as a coach, that's the approach you have to take. … Injury or personal situations, does that take away? Yeah, but somebody else has to fill in."
In one offensive drill, Michael Bennett, Mewelde Moore, Moe Williams, Ciatrick Fason and Butchie Wallace were all a part of different plays before Smith was inserted.
Bennett and Moore seemed to be getting the majority of the repetitions with the first-team offense, and Williams was used in his usual third-down role. Fason and Wallace were the main backs running with the second-team offense.
Smith was part of kickoff return drills, but Kelly Campbell, Moore, Keenan Howry and Troy Williamson appeared to be getting more work than Smith.
However the Smith situation develops, it was clear he was knocked down a peg on the depth chart Wednesday – at least temporarily.
"I know it's a tough time for him, but he's remained focused in our meetings and in practice. He had a nice run," Loney said. "He has to fight through whatever personal challenges he has."