Smith: Jackson will return when cleared

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- As running back Steven Jackson missed another day of practice due to a hamstring injury, Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith was pressed on whether further tests determined the injury to be more serious.

"No we haven't," Smith said, referring to getting a different diagnosis. "I know as soon as he gets cleared by the doctors, we will get him back out here. It's a hamstring that's been tough to come back from at this point in time."

The Falcons get Jason Snelling back from a concussion this week to help shoulder the running back load along with Jacquizz Rodgers. Jackson is expected to miss his fourth straight game, with only one day of practice remaining this week.

Jackson previously expressed hope to return to action this week, but he also wrote on his personal blog that he wouldn't come back until he was 100 percent. He suffered the injury in a Week 2 win over his former team, the St. Louis Rams.

Smith said linebacker Akeem Dent did return to practice coming off an ankle injury but was limited. Dent's status for Sunday's matchup with Tampa Bay remains unclear.

Also held out of practice were receiver Roddy White (hamstring/ankle), tackle Sam Baker (knee) and tight end Chase Coffmann (knee).