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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Buccaneers RB Clifton Smith ready to return



RB/KR Clifton Smith talked at length today about being knocked unconscious on Oct. 18 against Carolina, a hit that caused him to miss the Oct. 25 game at London.

He initially was perturbed by the team's decision to sit him against the Patriots, but he now concedes it was the right call.

"I tried to be the tough guy and play it out, but they already knew what was going on, so they held me out," said Smith, who admitted he was still having slight headaches leading up to the New England game.

It was the worst blow he's ever taken, even for a smallish player who is listed at 5-9 and 190 pounds. 

"Everybody blacks out every once in a while playing this game, but (I have had) nothing to the point where you actually....leave the earth for a minute," he cracked. "But I came right back."

As for now, Smith said, "I feel perfectly fine. I'm back to normal."

He hasn't shied away from reliving the hit, which was ruled illegal by the league, costing the Panthers' Dante Wesley a one-game suspension.

"I watch it all the time," he said. "There was a big picture in the paper the next day of me laying on the ground. I posted it on my bedroom wall so I'll never forget."

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:47pm]


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