On Monday, there was some angst at Minnesota Vikings training camp as tight end Irv Smith Jr. left the field with a trainer during the session. He wasn’t limping, but it turns out that his preseason appears to be done.
Head coach Kevin O’Connell announced that Smith had surgery on a thumb he injured in practice on Monday. While Smith is going to be sidelined for a while, O’Connell said that “barring any setbacks,” the team hopes to have him back for the regular season opener on 11 September.
This is a definite setback for Smith, who missed all of last season after tearing a meniscus in the preseason finale. He was expected to take a big leap forward before missing all of 2021 and so far the hope has been that he would pick up there this season. However, the brakes have been applied to the Irv Smith Jr. train for now.
In Smith’s absence, some of the Vikings’ tight ends further down the depth chart will get some opportunities, such as seventh-round pick Nick Muse and rookie Zach Davidson. Davidson got some run with the first team during two-minute drills on Monday and reportedly made several impressive catches.
The Vikings have also reported that running back/kick returner Kene Nwangwu is dealing with a soft tissue injury and is day-to-day. But, when you think about it, aren’t we all day-to-day?
We’ll have more news from Vikings camp as it happens.