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A chance Irv Smith Jr.’s injury could end his 2021 season

The Vikings will need to wait until Smith’s surgery before giving a timetable for his return.

Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith (84) runs after a catch in the first quarter of an NFL preseason game between the Minnesota Vikings and Kansas City Chiefs on Aug 27, 2021 at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO. Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. was set for a breakout season in Minnesota, but things aren’t going to plan after he suffered a meniscus injury last week. Head coach Mike Zimmer gave an update of sorts on Monday, saying that they won’t know Smith’s timetable for return until after his surgery, per The Athletic’s Chad Graff. Zimmer also added that there is a chance it could end his season.

At this point it is impossible to rely on him for fantasy football, and he shouldn’t be drafted in anything other than dynasty leagues. The Vikings backup tight end is Tyler Conklin, who has missed time recently with a hamstring injury. The good news is that Zimmer says that Conklin should return to practice today, per Graff. Conklin should have some value in fantasy, but his upside isn’t nearly as high as Smith’s.

Zimmer says they probably will look outside the organization for more tight end depth. And with cuts starting up in earnest today, there should be some value out there for the Vikings.