UPDATE: The team has announced that Irv Smith Jr. has officially been placed on injured reserve. This will open up a roster spot for the newly-acquired T.J. Hockenson.
The #Vikings have placed TE Irv Smith Jr. on IR.— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) November 1, 2022
On Tuesday, the Minnesota Vikings swung a pretty big trade to acquire tight end T.J. Hockenson from the Detroit Lions. Now, we have a bit more context as to why that trade took place.
Vikings’ TE Irv Smith is expected to be sidelined 8-10 weeks with his high ankle sprain, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 1, 2022
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the high ankle sprain that tight end Irv Smith Jr. suffered against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday is likely going to keep him out for eight to ten weeks. Given that there are only ten weeks left in the regular season, that means that there’s a good chance that he’s done for the year.
Smith has shown promise when he’s been on the field, but he missed all of 2021 with a knee injury he suffered in the preseason and now he appears poised to miss the second half of the 2022 season as well. As this is the final year of his rookie deal, it’s going to be interesting to see how the team handles the situation after the year is over.
This also puts the Hockenson trade into a bit different perspective, as the Vikings apparently weren’t happy with a tight end depth chart consisting of Johnny Mundt, Jacob Hollister, and Nick Muse in light of Smith’s injury (and Ben Ellefson on IR, which he can return from after this Sunday’s game).
It doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing Irv Smith Jr. again until the postseason. An unfortunate break for him and for the Vikings in a season where the Vikings have enjoyed pretty good health for the most part.