Miami football plan with Keontra Smith out through early October

Sep 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Richard Graulich-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Richard Graulich-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami football team will be without starting linebacker Keontra Smith through at least the Hurricanes bye week the weekend of October 9 according to head coach Manny Diaz on Monday. Based on current projections, Smith would return for the October 16 Miami football game at North Carolina.

Waymon Steed is expected to step into the starting role vacated by Smith with Avery Huff backing him up. Miami has other possibilities at linebacker, but Diaz only mentioned Steed and Huff during his weekly press conference on Monday. Smith is sixth on Miami with nine tackles and tied for third with 1.5 tackles for loss in 2021.

Steed has recorded six tackles this season. Huff has not reached the 2021 stat sheet. Smith was earned his position as a first-team LB in 2021 with Corey Flagg in the middle because of their speed. Diaz likes the speed that Huff will provide at LB saying he can roll. Steed provides Miami with a veteran presence.

Losing Smith ahead of playing Michigan State who has the sixth-best rushing offense this season is difficult. With Central Connecticut State, Virginia and a bye week in the three weeks after the Spartans, Miami can somewhat absorb his loss. Steed and Huff will become a key part of the Miami defense in the next three games.

Diaz stated last week that LB

Sam Brooks

is still

“a ways away from returning”

last week following a setback with a toe injury during training camp.

Bradley Jennings Jr.

who was a starter at LB in 2020 is listed as the backup to Flagg. Second-year freshman

Tirek Austin-Cave

is another LB who could figure in the mix.

Harris heavier work load with Chaney out with torn ACL. dark. Next

Miami held Alabama to 3.86 yards per carry in the season opener. Alabama and Appalachian State both ran 38 times for 147 and 153 yards against Miami. Miami will have to improve its run defense against Michigan State Saturday. Spartans running backs Kenneth Walker and Jordan Simmons each have a 2021 100-yard game.