Vikings’ Irv Smith undergoes successful thumb surgery, aims for week one return
EAGAN, Minn. (KEYC) - While Kevin O’Connell and the Minnesota Vikings are doing everything in their power to eliminate, or at least limit, injuries, things happen.
On Monday, tight end Irv Smith Jr. suffered a thumb injury, taking him out of the conversation for the preseason, but coach O’Connell predicts he’ll be back in time for the regular season.
“It was just actually on kind of a simple, everyday type of block. The way guys are fitting their hands, practicing hard the way he was, and obviously they are on the other side,” O’Connell said. “That stuff is going to happen from time to time. All updates coming out of Irv’s surgery are phenomenal, everything went as we hoped and his program and his process already began to get him back on the grass for us as soon as possible.”
The Vikings will look to the three players behind Smith on the depth chart to step up in Johnny Mundt, Zach Davidson, and Ben Ellefson.
“You come into camp with some good numbers for a reason, just in case, not really knowing exactly where Irv and Mundt would be coming off their injuries from last year. So we have some depth there, and we have some guys that we really want to see handle the different roles,” O’Connell added. “I know with this group we talked a lot about the role of a tight end, what that really looks like, offense-to-offense in the NFL nowadays. We ask our guys to do a lot from the run and pass game.
“So, across the board, we are going to ask those guys to fill that void that Irv had already created a real good start to training camp. We hope he’ll pick up right where he left off when he’s back, but good opportunity for those guys to apply themselves,” O’Connell continued.
The Vikings will have Thursday off, before returning to camp on Friday.
Vikings Training Camp continues through Aug. 18 as the team prepares for the home opener against the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 11.
Before that big game, though, Vikings fans from southern Minnesotans can circle Aug. 17-18 on their calendars, as the Vikings will be holding joint practices with the San Francisco 49ers on those days, with Marshall native and former North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance taking part.
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