Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Rams Notebook: Smelley Returns to Fill Roster Void at Tight End

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Rams Notebook: Smelley Returns to Fill Roster Void at Tight End

Article excerpt

The newest Ram, tight end Brad Smelley, can only hope this season's stay with the club will last a bit longer than last year's.

In November, Smelley was signed to the practice squad and was with the team three days before being replaced by Justice Cunningham.

Now, with defensive end-turned-tight-end Mason Brodine out after suffering a season-ending ankle injury Friday night, Smelley is back with the Rams.

"I was here for Thanksgiving week. Took me away from my family, then sent me back," the 25-year-old from the University of Alabama said. "I think those three days in practice, getting to at least see the offense, helps. Plus, I've been in other offenses that are similar."

Smelley, a 6-foot-2, 235-pounder, was drafted in the seventh round by the Cleveland Browns in 2012 and spent most of that season on their practice squad.

He did play in two games that fall, catching one pass for 3 yards.

Last year, after the brief stay with the Rams, Smelley was signed to the Houston practice squad and ended up playing in two late- season games.

Houston released him two days before the start of training camp this year.

"It's been three weeks or so, so it felt good to get out there again, to run some routes and play some football," he said. "When I was released, I went back to Tuscaloosa, that's where I'm from, and I was coaching high school football. ... And, at the same time, I was working out at Alabama and waiting for a call."

He received that call Saturday night and flew to St. Louis the following morning.

"He came in (Sunday) and ... did a nice job," Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. "So he'll fill in. He's a smart young man, talented, can play a couple different positions. He'll be given an opportunity to help us at the position."

At tight end, Smelley joins veterans Jared Cook, Lance Kendricks and Cory Harkey as well as youngsters Cunningham and Alex Bayer on the roster. …

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