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Report: Irv Smith Jr. to undergo knee surgery, will miss start of season

The tight end's anticipated breakout will be put on hold.
Irv Smith Jr.

According to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. will reportedly undergo surgery to repair a meniscus injury and will miss the start of the 2021 season

The injury delays what could have been a breakout season for Smith. The Vikings' second-round pick (50th overall) from the 2019 NFL Draft finished last season strong with 183 yards and three touchdowns over his final four games. 

The hype continued for Smith when the Vikings released Kyle Rudolph last February, clearing the way for Smith to be the starting tight end. 

Smith was one of the Vikings' most explosive players during training camp and showed his potential with two catches for 39 yards during Minnesota's preseason finale against Kansas City.

With Smith out of the fold, the Vikings will be left scrambling at tight end after Tyler Conklin was sidelined with an injury last week. 

The Vikings will also be looking for a third receiving threat with Dede Westbrook recovering from a knee injury suffered last season. That leaves Chad Beebe, K.J. Osborn and Ihmir Smith-Marsette as the Vikings' receiving options behind Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen.

The Vikings could look for a potential replacement in the coming days as teams have to cut their rosters down to 53 by Tuesday afternoon.

Minnesota opens the regular season on Sept. 12 when they travel to face the Cincinnati Bengals.

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