5 nightmare scenarios for the Minnesota Vikings in 2022

(Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports) Harrison Smith
(Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports) Harrison Smith /
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What are some nightmare scenarios for the Minnesota Vikings during the 2022 season?

Quiet optimism would be something that fittingly describes the Minnesota Vikings heading into the 2022 campaign. It certainly hasn’t been dull this offseason with a new regime coming into the franchise – a decision that can hopefully propel a talented roster back into the postseason for the first time in three years.

That will be easier said than done on a difficult-looking schedule. But there is an obvious chance that everything falls into place quickly with Kevin O’Connell at the helm.

The talent is there and has been for some time. Judging by the comments made by multiple players since Mike Zimmer was fired, a fresh approach was probably needed to widen the window of opportunity for this group.

However, nothing is guaranteed in the NFL. Here are five nightmare scenarios that would dent the Vikings‘ chances of progression in 2022.

Nightmare Scenario No. 1

Minnesota Vikings
(Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Irv Smith Jr. /

Irv Smith Jr. doesn’t reach his potential

There remains hope that Irv Smith Jr. can become the tight end many expected when the Vikings spent a second-round selection on the Alabama product. Injuries have significantly dented his progression so far, but Minnesota is relying on the player heavily after letting Tyler Conklin leave in free agency to sign for the New York Jets.

Smith has all the athletic attributes needed to become a stud. Even if this sample size has been relatively small in recent years and something that must change in 2022.

If Smith fails to realize his clear potential or suffers further complications on the health front, it will be nothing short of a disaster.