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Vikings Linebacker Cam Smith Announces He Will Retire from NFL


EAGAN, Minn. — Vikings linebacker Cam Smith on Wednesday announced his plan to retire from the NFL, less than a week after making his impressive return to game action.

Smith posted the following on Instagram:

Smith spent much of the past year recovering from surgery to repair a congenital heart defect that was discovered only after he tested positive for COVID-19 in summer of 2020.

Although sidelined last fall, he reunited with the team after surgery and became a source of inspiration for Vikings players, coaches and staff members.

It was a long road to recuperation, but Smith was determined.

He participated in Minnesota's offseason program and started at one of the three linebacker spots in last Saturday's preseason opener against the Denver Broncos.

Smith was "Mic'd Up" for a feature by the Vikings Entertainment Network during Saturday's game and could be heard telling Eric Kendricks during warmups, "At one point, in the last year, I never thought I'd feel this feeling again."

Kendricks replied, smiling with pride for his teammate, "It's pretty cool, man."

Smith played 18 snaps on defense and six on special teams. He was credited with one tackle before leaving the game with a concussion.

Selected in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, Smith played in five regular-season games as a rookie and contributed on special teams in Minnesota's two playoff games.