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Nolan Smith suffers injury, goes to locker room after injury against Browns

Wade-Peeryby:Wade Peery08/17/23
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Former Georgia star Nolan Smith has looked impressive in fall camp of his rookie season for the Philadelphia Eagles. He certainly looks poised to show much of the NFL that they made a mistake by letting him drop all the way to No. 30 in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. On Thursday night against the Cleveland Browns in the preseason, Smith made an impressive tackle on a reverse from Browns’ receiver Anthony Schwartz, but got caught up in some friendly fire from one of his own teammates. He was seen walking off the field while holding his arm, with trainers helping him to the sideline, where he went into the medical tent. A few minutes later, Smith was seen walking with the medical staff to the Eagles’ locker room for further examination.

Check out the play here.

The Eagles’ broadcast crew updated the status of the injury to Smith near the end of the second quarter. They said it was a shoulder injury, according to the NFL Network broadcast. No further details were given at the time.

For more on Smith and his impressive first few months with the Eagles, check out the article below from On3’s Nick Geddes.

Nolan Smith was thought to have been a draft day steal after the Philadelphia Eagles snagged the former Georgia standout with the 30th pick of the first-round.

Thus far through training camp, that’s been the correct characterization with Smith one of the early standouts. Eagles offensive tackle Jordan Mailata went a step further with his praise, saying that Smith reminds him of a player who racked up 16.0 sacks last season — teammate Haason Reddick.

“Mini Haason Reddick, man,” Mailata said, via EJ Smith of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “He’s elusive, quick, he’s a smart player.”

Smith enters his rookie season in the NFL following four accomplished and productive seasons with the Bulldogs. He was a perennial starter and an important leader in Georgia’s back-to-back national championship wins. Smith ended his collegiate career with 114 tackles, 21 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, and an interception. He started eight games last season for the Bulldogs before suffering a season-ending torn pectoral muscle against Florida.

Ahead of his NFL debut Saturday against the Baltimore Ravens, Smith reflected on the injury which cut his final season short at Georgia.

“It don’t matter, preseason, practice, I’m giving it my all because I remember that feeling in my heart when I couldn’t play another snap,” Smith said. “Most people think it’s a game but, man, if you really live that shit day in and day out, and you walk off that field and knowing ‘Man, I don’t know if that’s going to be my last snap’…well, you’ll go hard, harder than you’ve even been.”

Nolan Smith earning high praise from Eagles teammates

It certainly hasn’t taken long for Smith to earn praise from his teammates, including veteran offensive tackle Lane Johnson. While Mailata compared Smith to a mini Reddick, Johnson said he sees a lot of Dallas Cowboys edge rusher Micah Parsons in him.

“I’m not comparing him to this guy, but you see Micah Parsons,” Johnson recently said, via NBC Sports Philadelphia. “A guy that has tremendous speed, was undersized, was at linebacker and then they put him on the line of scrimmage and you see what he’s doing now. A guy with that type of quickness, that type of burst is a threat every time he’s on the ball because he can get a tackle turned. And once he does that, he can kind of have his way. You can never have enough explosive guys on the edge. Everybody has their uniqueness.”

On3’s Nick Geddes also contributed to this article.