While speaking with Minnesota Vikings team reporter Eric Smith on Tuesday, Vikings TE Irv Smith Jr. stated he feels “very confident” that he will be 100% healthy for the upcoming season after missing all of 2021 with a torn meniscus. (Eric Smith, Minnesota Vikings team reporter )
Smith Jr. was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2019 NFL Draft as a pass-catching TE out of Alabama. Fantasy managers had high expectations for Smith Jr. from the beginning of his career due to an athletic profile that is similar to the elite fantasy TE’s in regards to his ability to separate from defenders and gain yards after the catch. Smith Jr. was a popular sleeper pick at TE within the fantasy community heading into the 2021 season, but Smith Jr. tore his meniscus in the Vikings preseason finale and wasn’t able to log a regular season snap in what many fantasy analysts believed could have been a break out season for him. Smith Jr. has played in a TE committee in both of his two healthy NFL seasons, but that could change in 2022 with Tyler Conklin signing with the Jets earlier this off-season. With no other proven NFL TE currently on the Vikings roster, Smith Jr. will again be a popular pick to claim TE1 status in 2022.