Groundhog Day came early for Vikings TE Irv Smith Jr. this year

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

Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. suffered a new injury during Sunday’s win over the Arizona Cardinals that could cause him to miss games.

For Irv Smith Jr., this was supposed to be the season where he proved to the Minnesota Vikings and the rest of the NFL that he was capable of being a reliable No. 1 tight end.

Well, Smith will have to put his quest to prove his doubters wrong on hold as he has, yet again, suffered an injury that could force him to miss multiple games with the Vikings this season.

The Minnesota tight end apparently suffered a high ankle sprain on Sunday during the team’s win over the Arizona Cardinals, according to multiple reports. On Monday, Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell described Smith’s latest ailment as a “week-to-week” injury.

Latest injury to Irv Smith Jr. should end any chance of him re-signing with the Minnesota Vikings in 2023

At the end of the 2022 season, Smith’s contract with Minnesota will expire, and he will hit the free-agent market in 2023.

Some might like to see the Vikings re-sign the veteran tight end since he is still young enough (24) to believe that he could reach his full potential within the next few years. However, his recent injury history should make any thoughts that Minnesota has about possibly re-signing Smith disappear.

The Vikings tight end missed the entire 2021 season with a knee injury, he suffered a thumb injury this past summer that forced him to miss valuable practice time as the offense was adjusting to their new scheme, and now he has an ankle injury that could keep him out of action for multiple games.

Aside from his injury problems, Smith hasn’t really been that productive for Minnesota this year either. In 7 games, he’s caught 22 passes and two touchdowns while gaining an average of 24 receiving yards per matchup.

Prior to his season-ending injury in 2021, it seemed like the Vikings tight end was heading into a huge breakout campaign. But now, it looks as though Smith’s time with Minnesota will likely be over following the conclusion of the 2022 season.

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