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With the information that the Minnesota Vikings have traded for tight finish T.J. Hockenson, it’s additionally been reported that Irv Smith Jr. will miss the subsequent 8-10 weeks attributable to a excessive ankle sprain. For these enjoying alongside at house, that places him on observe to overlook the remainder of the common season. Successfully, it might finish his Vikings profession.
The Vikings took Irv Smith Jr. within the 2nd spherical, fiftieth total, of the 2019 NFL Draft. The previous Alabama star was seen as a pass-catching risk that might unfold the sphere as an athletic expertise from the tight finish place. Probably a bit undersized for the place, his athleticism was all the time going to be seen as off the charts.
Struggling yet one more season-ending (probably) harm this season, he’ll have performed in simply seven video games over the previous two seasons. Smith Jr. acquired behind the eight ball this yr when he broke his thumb previous to the common season, and that was coming off a 2021 meniscus surgical procedure that required him to take a seat out all the season.
If that is it for the dynamic tight finish, Minnesota followers shall be left questioning what if.
Throughout 4 years of his rookie deal, Smith Jr. performed in solely 36 video games, drawing 14 begins. The one season through which he was accessible for every contest was his first, and he by no means topped 365 yards in any given season. Smith Jr. did file 5 touchdowns in 2020, which led to loads of pleasure heading into 2021.
On the lookout for targets alongside the likes of Stefon Diggs, Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, and even Dalvin Prepare dinner, an lack of ability to ascertain consistency usually held Smith Jr. again.
Whereas the Vikings have jumped out to a 6-1 file this season, Smith Jr. has drawn simply 33 targets, or lower than 5 per sport. There’s nonetheless loads of alternative to go round even with Jefferson stealing the present, however Smith Jr. has not capitalized on it.
Minnesota will definitely not train Smith Jr.’s fifth yr possibility, and he’ll be searching for a brand new crew this offseason. There’s no purpose to consider he can’t be a dynamic participant for an additional crew within the NFL, however the recipe to search out that is still the identical. The expertise doesn’t matter if it isn’t accessible on the sphere.
Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that’s targeted on all issues Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s lively on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Day by day. As a former school athlete and avid sports activities fan, protecting our professional groups with a ardour has all the time appeared like such a pure outlet.
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