Vikings tight end Irv Smith‘s preparations for the 2022 season were interrupted by a thumb injury that required him to have surgery early this month, but the team does not expect the injury to interfere with his availability for the start of the regular season.
Smith has started working on the side during the team’s practices and head coach Kevin O’Connell said at a Thursday press conference that the team has a plan in place to make sure that Smith remains on track to play against the Packers in Week 1.
“Yes, he is. Everything with Irv has been really positive. . . . He’s now allowed to start sweating and making sure keep his conditioning where we need it,” O’Connell said. “We’ll pick some spots over the next couple of weeks to find some time to get Irv acclimated back in that offensive huddle. Although he might not be able to catch for a few more days, we can absolutely have him out there listening to play calls, getting back in there because we want him to pick up where he left off.”
Smith had 66 catches over his first two seasons in Minnesota, but missed the entire 2021 with a knee injury and is hoping for a new beginning this year. If all remains on schedule, that process will pick up speed in the coming weeks.