3 Vikings players who will not be missed in the 2023 season
By Adam Patrick
Irv Smith Jr. – TE
Since he was drafted in 2019, Irv Smith Jr.‘s tenure with the Vikings has been defined by a number of what-if moments.
Smith had decent first and second seasons with Minnesota, but they were nothing spectacular. Then with the departure of veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph in 2021, he was in line to become the No. 1 option at tight end for the Vikings. Unfortunately, a knee injury prevented Smith from playing in a game during the 2021 season.
He recovered in time to suit up for Minnesota at the start of the 2022 campaign, but then he missed more than two months of the season due to a high ankle sprain that he suffered in Week 8.
The Vikings made their feelings on Smith very clear when they acquired tight end T.J. Hockenson in a trade with the Detroit Lions during the middle of the 2022 season. Hockenson will be Minnesota’s No. 1 tight end moving forward and Smith’s journey of attempting to reach his potential will likely continue in a different NFL uniform in 2023.