Smith suffered a groin injury early in training camp and has not played in any of the team's preseason or regular season games this year.
With the designation to return, Smith will be able to practice with the Jaguars in six weeks and can be activated two weeks later. If Smith is able to recover, he will be able to play in the team's final two games against the Tennessee Titans on Dec. 23 and the New England Patriots on Dec. 30.
The nine-year veteran has been a consistent presence on the Jaguars since being drafted out of Georgia Tech in 2004, starting every game the last three seasons and missing just three games due to injury before this year.
Smith, 30, recorded a career-high 84 tackles in 2009. He had a career-high four sacks in 2005.