Antone Smith, best known for his special teams play in his first five seasons with the Falcons, finally has a chance to show he deserves playing time at running back.
As starter Steven Jackson continues to miss time with a left hamstring injury, Smith showed impressive big-play potential in the Falcons' 16-10 win over Miami on Friday night.
Smith's 35-yard gain after a short catch and 76-yard touchdown run were negated by penalties, but the big plays will be remembered by coach Mike Smith.
The opportunity at running back may continue to grow. Rookie fourth-round pick Devonta Freeman left Monday's practice with an injury.
If Jackson and Freeman can't play in Saturday's preseason game at Houston, Antone Smith and Jacquizz Rodgers could be featured.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
Follow Charles Odum on Twitter: http://twitter.com/CharlesOdum