Today head coach Kevin O’Connell announced that Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. underwent thumb surgery. Smith left midway through practice yesterday. He later returned but did not participate in the rest of practice. Kevin O’Connell said, “We still feel very strongly about our process to get him back and hopefully barring any setbacks available for that opener”. This is a good sign as Smith is coming off of a season ending injury from last season.
#Vikings TE Irv Smith suffered a thumb injury yesterday and had surgery today, coach Kevin O'Connell told reporters. He has not been ruled out for the opener.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 2, 2022
Smith suffered a torn meniscus in the Vikings final preseason game last season. He didn’t suffer any ligament damage. The injury to his thumb is a sigh of relief to Viking fans, as the injury was not related to his knee. Smith was set up to have a monster season in 2021 before his injury. He still has those expectations coming into the new season, building off his first two seasons. Smith in his first two seasons racked up 693 yards and seven touchdowns before missing all of the 2021 season.
With the injury to Smith, other tight ends on the roster now have an opportunity to step up and shine in his absence. Tight ends Johnny Mundt, Ben Ellefson, Zach Davidson, and Shaun Beyer are now all in a spot to prove their worth and find a place for themselves on the team in the coming weeks. The Vikings should be able to get a good look at what they have behind Smith in camp. No one here should take Smith’s starting spot at tight end without a massive training camp and preseason. Smith has yet to be ruled out for week 1 when the Vikings host the rival Green Bay Packers.
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