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Falcons place TE Lee Smith, 3 others on Reserve/COVID-19 list

The blocking specialist will miss the start of training camp.

Buffalo Bills v New England Patriots Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

Falcons players reported to Flowery Branch on Tuesday ahead of training camp. As we remember from last year, the new first step after players report is testing for COVID-19. A heavy number of players across the league tested positive to kick off the 2020 offseason.

2021 sees fewer players testing positive, but the Falcons were not fully immune from the ongoing pandemic. In total, they placed four players on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Lee Smith was a surprising acquisition by the Falcons. The team traded a 7th-round pick for a 33-year-old tight end best known for his blocking prowess. Atlanta has since drafted Kyle Pitts with the 4th overall pick, while Hayden Hurst remains on the roster with Jaeden Graham. Smith was added for his blocking ability, which he showed in Buffalo in recent seasons.

The other three players on this list will all be competing for roster spots, meaning any time they miss hurts their chances. Hopefully all are healthy.

We are not sure if Smith was vaccinated or not vaccinated, meaning we are unsure how much time he will miss under the NFL’s new protocol. Smith is certain to be a very important part of finally fixing the team’s run game with his blocking acumen. Not having Smith present to start off camp is a little concerning as Arthur Smith installs the new offense.