Sports

RB Antone Smith impresses Falcons with big plays as Steven Jackson continues to miss time

FILE - In this Aug. 8, 2014, file photo, Atlanta Falcons running back Antone Smith (35) moves past Miami Dolphins outside linebacker Koa Misi (55) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Atlanta. A player to watch may be running back Antone Smith, who showed promising big-play potential in the preseason opener, even though both his big gains were negated by penalties.   (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

FILE - In this Aug. 8, 2014, file photo, Atlanta Falcons running back Antone Smith (35) moves past Miami Dolphins outside linebacker Koa Misi (55) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Atlanta. A player to watch may be running back Antone Smith, who showed promising big-play potential in the preseason opener, even though both his big gains were negated by penalties. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)  (The Associated Press)

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