The Atlanta Falcons are placing rookie running back Ito Smith on injured reserve with a knee injury, dealing another blow to a position already weakened by the loss of starter Devonta Freeman.

Coach Dan Quinn said Monday Smith will have surgery this week. Quinn says it is not an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

Smith, a rookie, was questionable with back and knee injuries before aggravating the knee injury in Sunday’s 40-14 win over the Arizona Cardinals.

Atlanta Falcons running back Ito Smith (25) runs against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)
Atlanta Falcons running back Ito Smith (25) runs against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)

Smith is the ninth Atlanta player to be placed on IR this season.

Quinn says it is “unlikely” Freeman will return this season. Freeman, placed on IR on Oct. 16 with a groin injury, isn’t ready to practice for this week’s game at Carolina.

Atlanta Falcons running back Ito Smith (25) runs against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)
Atlanta Falcons running back Ito Smith (25) runs against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. (AP Photo/Danny Karnik)

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Source: The Associated Press

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