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Health key to Bengals ORT Smith's good start

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Posted Oct. 27, 2011 @ 10:56 p.m. ET
By Mike Wilkening

Bengals ORT Andre Smith is having his most successful NFL season, and the numbers tell a good deal of the story. The Bengals are gaining 5.8 yards per carry running off right tackle, ninth-best in the NFL entering Sunday, according to league statistics. Smith, the No. 6 pick in the 2009 draft, has also allowed just one sack, according to STATS. The biggest factor in Smith's improvement, however, has been his health and fitness, the way we hear it. Plagued by foot injuries in his first two NFL seasons, the 6-4, 335-pound Smith was limited to 13 games and just five starts. This season, he has yet to miss a game, and he is practicing regularly — something he just couldn't do previously. We're told Smith, who is only 24, is expected to improve even more now that he is fit and able to regularly work on his game.

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