Bengals tight end Alex Smith hasn't practiced since Monday, dealing with a "nagging knee ailment". Following a meeting with the coaching staff earlier this week, the team decided to "shut down" Smith to deal with the cryptic injury. And we're not sure what "shut down" means in this context in terms of a time frame; days, weeks, or the entire training camp, which ends August 15?
However, as Paul Dehner Jr. with the Cincinnati writes, it's not that serious.
In a different situation, a different time, maybe a younger Smith would suffer through the practice keeping quiet his frustrating injury. The constant pressures of proving himself and proving toughness in a league defined by such characteristics play out like an annual rite of passage.
Smith signed a one-year deal worth $880,000 earlier this year ($40,000 of that was the signing bonus). During the team's offseason training program, Smith drew praise for his adjustment and hard work that allowed him to quickly fit into the team's passing game.
Smith is one of nine players currently dealing with injuries that are not making the trip to Atlanta this week.