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Source: Will Smith is done for the year with knee injury

Smith AP

It’ll be much harder for the Saints to install a 3-4 defense if they don’t have guys who can play.

Per a league source, linebacker Will Smith is out for the year with a knee injury suffered Sunday against the Texans.

The precise injury isn’t known, but for Saints fans it doesn’t matter.  The first year of the Rob Ryan experiment will begin with both Victor Butler and Smith done for the duration.

The injury to Smith, a first-round pick in 2004 who was moving from defensive end in the 4-3 to outside linebacker in the 3-4, means that Martez Wilson will be asked to step up.  Wilson returned to practice a couple of weeks ago after injuring an elbow early in camp.

The situation likely will prompt the Saints to keep an extra close eye on the waiver wire as teams cut to 53 players.

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73 Responses to “Source: Will Smith is done for the year with knee injury”
  1. kegrun says: Aug 26, 2013 2:27 PM

    I predicted the saints at 7-9 this year. Now its 5-11.

  2. kd75 says: Aug 26, 2013 2:29 PM

    He gets in one little fight and his Mom got scared. She said he’s moving in with his Auntie and Uncle in Bel Aire…

  3. steviaquinn says: Aug 26, 2013 2:29 PM

    only fitting theses guys are getting injured

  4. alexdane436 says: Aug 26, 2013 2:30 PM

    The real tragedy behind this news is that you can guarantee even more TV shots of Rob Ryan going crazy on the sidelines. The Saints and America as a whole all lose with this story.

  5. darkneptune73 says: Aug 26, 2013 2:31 PM

    Drew Brees will probably carry the defense….again. And the defense will be the worst defense in the league….again.

  6. partmachine says: Aug 26, 2013 2:31 PM

    Bryan Hall here’s your shot.

  7. whoisrdymlz says: Aug 26, 2013 2:33 PM

    Not good when you have to play against Cam.

  8. mrhornitos says: Aug 26, 2013 2:33 PM

    WILL SMITH GOT BOUNTY’D

  9. daysend564 says: Aug 26, 2013 2:33 PM

    Their defense could lose every single player and still not finish worse than last year’s unit.

  10. trollhammer20 says: Aug 26, 2013 2:35 PM

    “Hello, Las Vegas? I’d like to take the ‘over’ on every Saints game this year.”

  11. 3yardsndust says: Aug 26, 2013 2:35 PM

    These “preseason” games cause needless injury and exist solely to line the pockets of the billionaire owners. It’s ridiculous.

  12. lifetimeskinsfan739 says: Aug 26, 2013 2:36 PM

    Shawne Merriman

  13. victorycruz says: Aug 26, 2013 2:44 PM

    Too much “Getting Jiggy With It”

  14. gcsuk says: Aug 26, 2013 2:44 PM

    Not a Saints fan, just a fan of good football. Sucks watching all these guys go out so early with the ACLs, Achilles, etc…If I wanted to watch back-ups starting, I’d watch the Arena League.

  15. mdd913 says: Aug 26, 2013 2:45 PM

    LOL at the laughingly over-the-top comments regarding the Saints supposedly imminent demise. This is no big loss, Smith wasn’t transitioning to linebacker very well and was in fact being outplayed by just about every OLB on the roster.

    Saints will win the division and go no worse than 12-4. Book it.

  16. mrlaloosh says: Aug 26, 2013 2:46 PM

    Don’t worry steviaquinn, the Saints will still roll over your Falcants in the season opener. Done deal.

  17. justbust says: Aug 26, 2013 2:47 PM

    Agree, will smith and merriman are like same everything, near same weight/ can play de or olb and both and lost their explosion. He can’t be worse than will smith

  18. dagon27 says: Aug 26, 2013 2:51 PM

    Just saw that the Niners are shopping OLB Parys Haralson – perfect scenario for both teams.

  19. mwatts1 says: Aug 26, 2013 2:53 PM

    @kd75 says:
    Aug 26, 2013 2:29 PM
    He gets in one little fight and his Mom got scared. She said he’s moving in with his Auntie and Uncle in Bel Aire…

    ————-

    Best comment ever!

  20. furnhole says: Aug 26, 2013 2:54 PM

    Sorry for the guy,,,,,but,,,,,go Bucs!

  21. chc4 says: Aug 26, 2013 2:56 PM

    These “preseason” games cause needless injury and exist solely to line the pockets of the billionaire owners. It’s ridiculous.
    ___________________________
    There are so many things wrong w/ this statement. First of all the owners are billionaires regardless of whether 1, 2 or 4 preseason games are played. They add very little to the coffers when you consider total revenue over the course of a season.

    Second, many of the injuries have occurred during practice. No way around those.

    And lastly, if they cut back to 1 or 2 preseason games everyone would be screaming when guys tear ligaments in week 1 of the regular season. Then the outrage will be “the owners force these guys to play before their bodies are ready for the rigors of a 60 minute game”.

    Bottom line is football is a violent, risky game. Injuries happen and there’s no way to predict when they’ll happen.

  22. dino2997 says: Aug 26, 2013 2:56 PM

    Its easy to say Drew Brees will carry the team but the reality is that Brees hasn’t been able to carry the team. His interception rate has also increased trying to carry the team.

  23. dcapettini says: Aug 26, 2013 2:56 PM

    They had a chance at Dumervil, just like every other NFL team did after he was cut. Ozzie is just smarter than the rest.

  24. thirdistheworrd says: Aug 26, 2013 2:56 PM

    Let me tell you a little story
    all about how
    his tendon got ripped, turned upside-down
    He was tacklin’, reactin’
    3-point-stancin’ all cool
    playing some football inside of the Dome,
    when the O line, which was up to no good
    started protecting Matt Schaub from IRhood
    He got one little sprain and his coach got scared
    said you’re going with the trainers to the locker room
    Waited for next season, and when it came near
    football fans hoped it’s not the end of his career
    He got ready for camp around May or June
    Kinda hate the Saints, but get better soon.

    Seriously, I don’t like the Saints at all, but if you’re a real football fan, you gotta hate seeing a good player go down, on any team. Especially in the preseason, and especially when it could force him into retirement.

  25. Wisconsin77 says: Aug 26, 2013 2:59 PM

    More bountygate karma

  26. flexx91 says: Aug 26, 2013 3:00 PM

    I much as I hate to say (due the Smith’s longevity with this organization) but there are better and more athletic OLB’s already on this roster. Most of thought last season was going to be his last in a Saints uniform. At 32 years old, he is not the player he once was…..

  27. nolajoe says: Aug 26, 2013 3:04 PM

    Next man up. . .

  28. skippynj says: Aug 26, 2013 3:09 PM

    I like Will but he was playing way out of position in this 3/4. Looked like a chifferobe on cleats trying to cover backs out in the flats. Gotta have some youth step in and perform. Next man up. Go Saints!

  29. sb44champs says: Aug 26, 2013 3:09 PM

    dagon27 says:
    Aug 26, 2013 2:51 PM
    Just saw that the Niners are shopping OLB Parys Haralson – perfect scenario for both teams.
    ===========================
    9ers would release Kap b4 they ever agreed to a trade with the superior Saints…. Saints won SB44, just deal with it 9er fans, lol

  30. sb44champs says: Aug 26, 2013 3:12 PM

    dino2997 says:
    Aug 26, 2013 2:56 PM
    Its easy to say Drew Brees will carry the team but the reality is that Brees hasn’t been able to carry the team. His interception rate has also increased trying to carry the team.
    ==========================
    Yeah, and his TD total (Best in ’13) increased as well but make sure you conveniently leave that fact out, lol..

  31. doubleogator says: Aug 26, 2013 3:13 PM

    Saw a comment on another post where the guy wrote enough of the “bounty gate”, “spy gate” stuff already. That is really old news and is definitely not very funny anymore, if it was even ever funny in the first place…agree with an earlier post that Will Smith was not adapting to OLB very well at all, couldn’t cover backs and tight ends, liked him as a down lineman not so much as a linebacker. I really believe this was a shot at trying to find a way to keep him on the roster and in the locker room…

  32. jayniner says: Aug 26, 2013 3:15 PM

    3yardsndust says:
    Aug 26, 2013 2:35 PM

    These “preseason” games cause needless injury and exist solely to line the pockets of the billionaire owners. It’s ridiculous.

    ____________________

    Yeah, because players play football to make owners rich and not to make millions themselves….

  33. sb44champs says: Aug 26, 2013 3:18 PM

    Wisconsin77 says:
    Aug 26, 2013 2:59 PM
    More bountygate karma
    =======================
    More Saints jealousy, sheesh…

  34. justbust says: Aug 26, 2013 3:21 PM

    Coaches shoulda let him gain 10-20 pounds he could have just played right end. Olb is a young mans position, he was on the left side so they were going to have this beast cover tight ends too? Seriously Rex?Setting him up for failure it always seemed like. At least Mario Williams wasn’t in his 30s when he switched to olb and his body still couldn’t handle the transition, he did play great thou.

  35. justbust says: Aug 26, 2013 3:22 PM

    Errrr wrong Ryan brother

  36. henry4956 says: Aug 26, 2013 3:25 PM

    Ryan had tons more talent on the Cowboys roster and they couldn’t produce turnovers or sacks (other than Ware). with this unit they may actually be worse than last year. Saints Suck. Brees is a classless and I hope they return to the days of fans wearing paper bags over their heads.
    Falcons will rule the South easily.

  37. mogogo1 says: Aug 26, 2013 3:26 PM

    Wow, the Miley Cyrus thing hit him worse than we initially thought.

  38. igocommando says: Aug 26, 2013 3:26 PM

    That makes 3 knee injuries by opponents of the texans in 3 games. 2 of them season ending.

  39. natijim235 says: Aug 26, 2013 3:27 PM

    never make fun of a player who gets season ending injury – i guess he’ll have time to make ‘men in black’ # 5

  40. holl9408 says: Aug 26, 2013 3:29 PM

    Uh oh the dirtiest team in the league, The Houston Texans, took out another one. Get ready to hear the whiners. Remeber whey they said the Texans were soft?

  41. noring4youstill says: Aug 26, 2013 3:32 PM

    Not good when they play Cam? That reject will defeat himself. If the panthers get over .500 this season it’ll be because of their defense. Not that small eared crybaby. Anyways. I predict my saints finish 8-8.

  42. hehateme2 says: Aug 26, 2013 3:33 PM

    So the Texans blew out ANOTHER knee?

    The league should look into their dirty and poor tackling and throw the book at them.

  43. malab377 says: Aug 26, 2013 3:46 PM

    Next thing we’ll learn is that the guy who blew Smith’s knee was just trying to not get fined.

  44. sb44champs says: Aug 26, 2013 3:50 PM

    noring4youstill says:
    Aug 26, 2013 3:32 PM
    Not good when they play Cam? That reject will defeat himself. If the panthers get over .500 this season it’ll be because of their defense. Not that small eared crybaby. Anyways. I predict my saints finish 8-8.
    ========================
    Alright bandwagoner, 10-6 at worst…. Saints went 7 -9 without their headcoach and with the worst defense in NFL HISTORY… I think we’ll be alright, lol

  45. schmitty2 says: Aug 26, 2013 3:54 PM

    thirdistheworrd says:Aug 26, 2013 2:56 PM

    Let me tell you a little story
    all about how
    his tendon got ripped, turned upside-down
    He was tacklin’, reactin’
    3-point-stancin’ all cool
    playing some football inside of the Dome,
    when the O line, which was up to no good
    started protecting Matt Schaub from IRhood
    He got one little sprain and his coach got scared
    said you’re going with the trainers to the locker room
    Waited for next season, and when it came near
    football fans hoped it’s not the end of his career
    He got ready for camp around May or June
    Kinda hate the Saints, but get better soon

    If you’re an aspiring rapper I would plead with you to reconsider that career choice.

  46. FlashPatterson says: Aug 26, 2013 3:54 PM

    Uh oh, they’re putting out bounties in practice now.

  47. bobbyd12 says: Aug 26, 2013 4:00 PM

    The Saints defense got worse the minute thet hired Rob Ryan.

  48. lengai says: Aug 26, 2013 4:01 PM

    The Saints had to keep Smith for monetary reasons or he’d already be gone. That’s why this whole DE/OLB project has been going on. He would have contributed, but wasn’t going to do anything special this season anyway. He’s lost a lot.

    The Saints also lost 2 defensive players (Butler and Coleman) that have never played in a regular season game with the team and there has been ample time to prepare the roster for the opener (there still is time).

    It’s not like a key piece of the defense was lost here. #mountainoutofamolehill

  49. nflfan123 says: Aug 26, 2013 4:11 PM

    Before anyone blames another team for an injury, maybe you should know at least how the injury happened. Someone fell on top of him, a I’m pretty sure it was a fellow teammate at that, so there was no possible “Dirty Tackle”. It always hurts when someone has a season ending injury, especially when it’s in Pre-season. It is still no excuse to say it was from a dirty team, or player.

  50. radrntn says: Aug 26, 2013 4:14 PM

    well hate to say it, but when you are doing stunts, blitzes, and schemes in the pre-season, instead of just playing a vanilla defense this is bound to happen…..oh well, at least you looked good in the pre-season

  51. darthsaint says: Aug 26, 2013 4:26 PM

    It has already been said. But anyone who thinks this makes the Saints worse, simply hasn’t watched ANY of the preseason games thus far. Will Smith was a slowish DE who had lost his explosiveness. Real Saints fans, although loving Smith for 10+ years of being a Saint, recognizing it was time for him to move on BEFORE the season started.

    He ONLY stayed because the negative CAP hit was too much. He agreed to a lower salary. But based on the preseason games, he looked horrible in space. Teams would have taken advantage of Smith anytime he was in the game. He would have JUST been a rush side LB, thus the defense would now to motion a RB to that side and you would have a 5+ yard dunk pass every single time.

    As much as I like Smith. This loss is actually a gain. It gives opportunity and ability for growth to younger players. Our roster is thinish at LB. But if they aren’t better…I don’t think they could be worse from what I’ve seen from Smith this preseason.

  52. darthsaint says: Aug 26, 2013 4:29 PM

    And all the bounty comments and karma comments. Once again…show me the tape…show me the evidence.

    There WAS a pay for play system. The same system Tagliabue admitted was rampant around the entire league.

    Tagliabue also admitted that Goddell unfairly punished players and had a lack of evidence to enforce any of his punishments. Thus he reversed ALL of them. The only one he didnt reverse was the Coach penalty. And that had everything to do with coaches not having a union and NOT being able to fight the system which had also unfairly punished them.

    So if you are just jabbing a Saints fan. Fair enough. But if you are one of the few who still actually thinks there was a system ANYTHING like what Goddell tried to make you believe existed. Then you are a blind sheep who lacks any brain function. Baaaaaahhh Baaaaaaahhh!!!

  53. raymondtx says: Aug 26, 2013 4:34 PM

    NOLA, just blame the injury on those “dirty” Texans…that is what Jets fans do.

  54. vicnocal says: Aug 26, 2013 4:35 PM

    You painfully unhumorous people with your stupid Fresh Prince jokes are about as funny as cancer.

    “Yo homes, smell ya later.”

  55. cwwgk says: Aug 26, 2013 4:47 PM

    @darthsaintsfan: I suggest you actually read Tagliabue’s opinion. He concluded there was overwhelming evidence to support Goodell’s allegations. Tagliabue vacated the punishments because he felt the players had no choice but to participate.

    Tagliabue’s words, not mine.

  56. cwwgk says: Aug 26, 2013 4:56 PM

    @darthsaintsfan: I suggest you actually read Tagliabue’s opinion. He concluded there was overwhelming evidence to support Goodell’s allegations. Tagliabue vacated the punishments because he felt the players had no choice but to participate.

    Tagliabue’s words, not mine.

  57. bluenose1965 says: Aug 26, 2013 5:11 PM

    hehateme2 says:
    Aug 26, 2013 3:33 PM
    So the Texans blew out ANOTHER knee?

    The league should look into their dirty and poor tackling and throw the book at them.

    _____________________________________________

    Wow!!! Are you really that dumb? Did you even see the play? I didn’t think so.

    An unfortunate injury that had nothing to do with who the Saints were playing.

  58. nola5712 says: Aug 26, 2013 5:14 PM

    oh the uninformed.

    1. all you people spouting “bountygate” here’s this – go look up how many people the saints injured or knocked out of games. i DARE YOU. what do you find? that they “knocked out” or injured LESS than THIRTY other teams out of THIRTY TWO. so THIRTY other teams caused more game ending or season ending injuries over that course of time. so what does that say about your team? does that mean since they HURT MORE people than the saints in the last 3 years that when one of YOUR team’s players gets hurt i can spout off about karma instead of being sympathetic to their injury like a normal human being? you uninformed bountygate idiots are sheeple for real. believe anything you hear and anything the media spews. HELLO? concussion lawsuits?? that is the ONLY reason the saints were the unfortunate PATSY.

    2. will smith sucked @ss in his new LB role in the 3-4 anyway so who cares. he was slow in coverage and was barely effective as a pass rusher. we have plenty other options. to the comment comparing him to merriman – oh really? smith has lasted very well and healthy for the last 8 years. no dramatic drop off in productivity (which was never that great to begin with) no sign of ANY merriman/ped activity so well…you’re just stupid.

    i swear. some people just shouldn’t be allowed to breed.

  59. texanfan53 says: Aug 26, 2013 5:30 PM

    So the Texans blew out ANOTHER knee?

    The league should look into their dirty and poor tackling and throw the book at them.
    ————————————————-

    His own team mate ran into him……please do some research before you open your pie hole.

  60. biggestsaintsfanever says: Aug 26, 2013 5:49 PM

    Actually, This is what Tags said….Here’s an excerpt from Tagliabue’s thought process in vacating Vilma’s twice issued season-long suspension: “It is essential to recognize that Vilma is being most severely disciplined for ‘talk’ or speech at a team meeting on the evening before the Saints-Vikings game. He is not being punished for his performance on the field and, indeed, none of the discipline of any player here relates to on-field conduct.

    “No Saints’ player was suspended for on-field play by the League after the game in question. If the League wishes to suspend a player for pre-game talk including ‘offers’ to incentivize misconduct, it must start by imposing enhanced discipline for illegal hits that involve the kind of player misconduct that it desires to interdict. The relationship of the discipline for the off-field “talk” and actual on-field conduct must be carefully calibrated and reasonably apportioned. This is a standard grounded in common sense and fairness. …

    “If one were to punish certain off-field talk in locker rooms, meeting rooms, hotel rooms or elsewhere without applying a rigorous standard that separated real threats or “bounties” from rhetoric and exaggeration, it would open a field of inquiry that would lead nowhere. …

    “Adding to the complexity, there is little evidence of the tone of any talk about a bounty before the Vikings game. Was any bounty pledged serious? Was it inspirational only? Was it typical ‘trash talk’ that occurs regularly before and during games? The parties presented no clear answers. No witness could confirm whether Vilma had any money in his hands as he spoke; no evidence was presented that $10,000 was available to him for purposes of paying a bounty or otherwise. There was no evidence that Vilma or anyone else paid any money to any player for any bounty-related hit on an opposing player in the Vikings game.

    “I neither excuse nor condone the alleged offer of a bounty on Favre, whether offered by any player, coach, other Saints’ employee or third party. Such conduct has no place in the game of professional football. I cannot, however, uphold a multi-game suspension where there is no evidence that a player’s speech prior to a game was actually a factor causing misconduct on the playing field and that such misconduct was severe enough in itself to warrant a player suspension or a very substantial fine. Nor can I find justified a suspension where Williams and other Saints’ personnel so carefully crafted an environment that would encourage and allow a player to make such an ill-advised and imprudent offer. I therefore vacate the suspension of Jonathan Vilma.”

  61. thirdistheworrd says: Aug 26, 2013 5:59 PM

    Me:

    Let me tell you a little story
    all about how
    his tendon got ripped, turned upside-down… yada yada yada

    schmitty2 says: Aug 26, 2013 3:54 PM

    If you’re an aspiring rapper I would plead with you to reconsider that career choice.
    ____________
    If I was the rapper who came up with that song I would be pretty excited about making the jump into film and television that has delivered several blockbusters, a hot wife, two talented children, an Oscar nomination, and a net worth of 400 million dollars over the last 23 years.

    If somebody has written something bizarre and complex that has received a lot of thumbs up, chances are it’s a reference you don’t understand (working hard to avoid a “parents just don’t understand” reference here- Will Smith is so universally applicable).

    And chances are you will look like a fool when everybody under age forty knows exactly what I’m talking about, and understand how much time I wasted trying to give people a cheap laugh by fitting the Saints defensive end into the Fresh Prince theme song.

    catch ya later, Carlton

  62. seenoland54 says: Aug 26, 2013 6:43 PM

    So it looks like Atlanta and NO will be another of those three point difference shoot outs probably breaking an over of 150

  63. pecosbob says: Aug 26, 2013 7:27 PM

    It looked like Matt Schaub fell into Smith’s leg from the side as he was being sacked by DE Cam Jordan, so if you gotta blame someone it’s gotta be Jordan.

  64. bigslizzle4twizzle says: Aug 26, 2013 7:36 PM

    I love it! Bree’s will be the next one out for the year after week 1. Then hopefully Katrina will come back and wipe out the rest of the super dome and that toilet bowl of a city.

  65. playgroundlgnd says: Aug 26, 2013 7:54 PM

    I expect them to pick up Chris Gocong, should be back from his injury, knows Robs defense, played very well in it

  66. vicnocal says: Aug 26, 2013 8:32 PM

    thirdistheworrd, We got what you were trying to do, idiot. It’s just that it was lame as all hell.

  67. harryglyphics says: Aug 26, 2013 9:50 PM

    Should just not practice at all.
    No practice ever.

    Just line up on day one and play.

  68. noring4youstill says: Aug 26, 2013 10:17 PM

    Stay classy bigslizzle.

  69. whodey420 says: Aug 26, 2013 10:39 PM

    Sucks for the Saints!

    @mdd913, Saints may win the division but no way
    they were going 12-4!! More like 9-7! At best!!

  70. vegasvinnie says: Aug 27, 2013 1:36 AM

    bigslizzle4twizzle says:
    Aug 26, 2013 7:36 PM
    I love it! Bree’s will be the next one out for the year after week 1. Then hopefully Katrina will come back and wipe out the rest of the super dome and that toilet bowl of a city.
    ====================================

    Let me guess, someone wearing black and gold slashed your blow up doll, right?

  71. sb44champs says: Aug 27, 2013 9:16 AM

    bigslizzle4twizzle says:
    Aug 26, 2013 7:36 PM
    I love it! Bree’s will be the next one out for the year after week 1. Then hopefully Katrina will come back and wipe out the rest of the super dome and that toilet bowl of a city.
    =========================
    Learn how to spell ‘Brees’ first then maybe someone out there will take you seriously, lol

  72. gregrrr says: Aug 27, 2013 1:34 PM

    A few things here
    1. Cam Jordan sacked Matt Schaub, who fell on Will Smith’s leg as he was engaged with the left tackle. No one’s fault; pure accident.
    2. Saints fans followed the events of the supposed bounty gate fiasco to the end, where it was determined Goodell acted without any evidence at all and all player suspensions were revoked. ESPN offered a formal, on air apology for wrongly accusing the Saints. Other fans…still seem ignorant of what actually happened, and rightly look very stupid whenever they post bounty gate opinions.
    3. Will Smith received a Pro Bowl selection for his DE play many years ago, but has slowed down quite a bit since then. He is still a solid player but by no one’s stretch of the imagination was he the answer @ OLB. In fact, he has played a lot of his snaps this preseason as a down lineman.

  73. mikejonesforum says: Aug 28, 2013 12:34 AM

    In sorry to hear Smith is injured, but he looked terribly stiff trying to run down short pass plays in preseason action. I think he was going to be a major liability in the passing game.

    Saints have no depth at LB and I think it’s time to push the little red button and Panic!

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