Raiders Move Lee Smith To IR

The Raiders will be without their top blocking tight end for most likely the rest of the season after making the decision to place Lee Smith on IR, Jimmy Durkin of the San Jose Mercury News reports.

Suffering a broken bone in his lower leg during the first half against the Ravens, Smith will be out at least eight weeks. He’s likely going to miss the rest of the year, with the Raiders already having starting defensive end Mario Edwards on IR. They are expected to bring him back when he’s eligible.

To take Smith’s place on the roster, the Raiders signed Ryan O’Malley, a rookie UDFA out of Penn, off their practice squad.

Smith’s been Oakland’s primary blocking tight end since coming over from Buffalo last year. He’s started all 19 games in which he’s played, and although the sixth-year veteran isn’t a prolific receiver (18 total receptions with the Raiders since the start of the 2015 season), he’s their primary tight end.

Pro Football Focus rates Smith as the No. 5 run-blocking tight end through the 3 1/2 games he played this season. Receiving tight ends Clive Walford and Mychal Rivera are not near the top of said list.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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