Irv Smith Jr. reportedly out Week 1, expected to miss multiple games

(Photo by Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports) Irv Smith Jr.
(Photo by Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports) Irv Smith Jr. /

When the Minnesota Vikings take the field for their 2021 regular-season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals, they won’t have tight end Irv Smith Jr. in the lineup.

When it comes to the Minnesota Vikings, finding ways to kick their fans in the pants is a skill that the franchise has seemed to perfect ever since their very first season in 1961.

The latest example happened on Sunday when NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero reported that the Vikings No. 1 tight end, Irv Smith Jr., is undergoing meniscus surgery, and he is expected to miss multiple games this season, including their upcoming Week 1 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Smith played in Minnesota’s preseason finale against the Kansas City Chiefs on Friday, and apparently, that will be his last on-field action for a while.

When might Irv Smith Jr. return to the field for the Minnesota Vikings?

While Pelissero reported that the Vikings tight end is expected to be out of action for at least the team’s first few games of the regular season, he could potentially miss a significant amount of time this year depending on the type of meniscus surgery he is having done.

According to PFF injury analyst Mario Pilato, Smith will likely be sidelined for two to four weeks if he’s undergoing a Meniscectomy. But if the tight end is getting a meniscus repair, then it could take six to eight months for him to recover according to Pilato.

So, hopefully, for both Smith and Minnesota‘s sake, he is not getting a meniscus repair. His absence early in the season is already going to have a big impact on the Vikings, but the talented tight end not being able to play at all in 2021 would be a huge blow to the team’s chances for success this year.

Tyler Conklin, Brandon Dillon, Zach Davidson, and Shane Zylstra are currently the other tight ends on Minnesota’s roster. Conklin is dealing with a hamstring injury right now, so his status for Week 1 is also in doubt.

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We can definitely expect the Vikings to scour the waiver wire this week and potentially make a trade to possibly add a tight end who can help make up for Smith’s loss.