There were high hopes for Minnesota Vikings TE Irv Smith last season to say the least. Sadly, during training camp, he suffered a knee injury which finished his season before he even played a game. It was a major loss for the Vikings.
After being drafted in the second round by the Vikings following a great college career, fans have expected a lot from Smith. In his first two seasons, he put up fine numbers but last year looked like it’d be the year for him. He suffered a thumb injury in the 2022 training camp which could force him to miss a few games as well.
2021 season statistics & fantasy finish
Receiving: Smith tore his meniscus in training camp last year.
Fantasy: Smith tore his meniscus in the training camp last year.
Vikings offseason moves
The majority of the big moves made for the Vikings this offseason were on the defensive side of the ball. They signed Zadarius Smith, Jordan Hicks, and Harrison Phillips which will help their defense in a big way. One move that could affect Smith’s performance was losing Tyler Conklin in free agency. Smith is the clear cut number one tight end for the Vikings.
2022 best case scenario
The best case scenario for Smith would be TE7-TE10. Coming off an injury, it will not be easy for him to go out and play great in real game action. But he has shown the tools in the past, and the Vikings have made it known that he is their guy at the position when he returns from injury. They think highly of him and Kirk Cousins will target him a lot this season.
2022 worst case scenario
Finishing around TE15-TE18 would be worst case scenario. The thumb injury scares me a bit and on top of all of that, Smith hasn't played in a real game in almost two years. He’s the clear-cut No. 1 tight end on this roster, but his recovery for injuries will tell how this season goes for him.
I expect Smith to finish right around TE10. As long as he’s healthy, Cousins will get him the ball a ton and with no Conklin, there will be no other tight ends taking targets from Smith. I would be surprised if Smith didn't have the best season of his career this year.