Minnesota Vikings are in good hands at the tight end position

(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Tyler Conklin
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Tyler Conklin /

The unfortunate injury of Irv Smith Jr. has somewhat derailed the plans of the Minnesota Vikings for the upcoming 2021 season, but all will be okay.

During the Minnesota Vikings final preseason game last week against the Kansas City Chiefs, tight end Irv Smith Jr. suffered an injury that ultimately required him to undergo season-ending surgery on his meniscus.

Smith was set to have a breakout season with the Vikings in 2021. Throughout training camp and during the preseason games in which he played this summer, it was evident that the Minnesota tight end was going to have a brilliant year out on the field.

Unfortunately, that will have to wait until the 2022 season.

Tyler Conklin expected to make a jump for the Minnesota Vikings in 2021

With Smith expected to be out for the entire 2021 campaign, the Vikings were left with just Tyler Conklin and second-year player Brandon Dillon at tight end this year.

That was until they traded for Chris Herndon from the New York Jets. This isn’t the flashiest tight end group in the league by any stretch, but they can be very productive.

Although Conklin has been somewhat of a fringe player throughout his three years in Minnesota, he has made some plays and has shown improvement every year, in both the passing game and in run blocking.

If nothing else, he is a reliable player that can come in and be a serviceable tight end for the Vikings this season.

The tandem of Conklin and Herndon is one that Minnesota can work with. If the tight end duo is successful, things could open up a lot more for other members of the Vikings’ offense, and allow them to be more productive.

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There is a huge upside with both Conklin and Herndon and it could pay off in a big way for Minnesota during the upcoming season.