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Irv Smith Jr. returns to practice in limited fashion for Week 11

Vikings TE Irv Smith is dealing with a groin injury coming into Week 11. We break down how his practice week unfolds.

Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith (84) scores a touchdown during the third quarter against the Detroit Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium. Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings have a short week after Monday Night Football, but they have a decent chance of getting tight end Irv Smith back for their Week 11 matchup with the Dallas Cowboys. Smith was absent from Week 10 with a groin injury but returned to practice on Wednesday in limited fashion.

Kyle Rudolph is usually listed as the Vikings starting tight end, but Smith has been getting a few more snaps each game when healthy. Rudolph sees a little more consistency in targets per game, but Smith is starting to show some intriguing upside. Prior to injuring his groin, Smith caught a pair of touchdowns in Week 9, marking his first time in the end zone this season.

Neither Smith or Rudolph is worth a regular start, but in the final weeks of byes, there is some modest value. In reality, they’re looking like best ball options at best given the uncertainty around who will get what looks.