EAGAN, Minn. — Per NFL procedures, to move Cam Smith from the Vikings active roster to their reserve/non-football injury (NFI) list, the team must first subject him to waivers. Should he clear waivers, he will revert to the Vikings
Smith, a fifth-round pick in 2019, announced on his personal Instagram account over the weekend that he will undergo open-heart surgery to fix a bicuspid aortic valve. The linebacker was born with the condition that went undiagnosed until recently.
"Although this will unfortunately end my 2020 season, it is really a blessing that we found this as my heart is severely enlarged and wouldn't have lasted much longer," Smith posted. "I found this out after I tested positive for [COVID-19] and had to have further testing done as protocol. The Lord works in mysterious ways, but I could really feel him on this one."
Smith said the surgery will "allow me to continue to play football as soon as I am healed and cleared," adding that it was an easy decision to make.
"By no means am I ready to be done playing football, there is still so much more I want to accomplish on the field," he wrote. "I'm going to attack this like everything else I have in life. Already looking forward to the comeback! #SKOL."
Smith made a second post on Sunday night, thanking everyone for their support.
"Bumps in the road are a part of life, but how you attack them is all that really matters," Smith wrote. "You can coast through and land safely or pin that son of a gun and launch off that bump as if it was only there to put you further ahead.
"I'm all smiles over here and I wouldn't be this way without the Lord and my support system," he added. "I'll keep everyone as updated as possible. I'm coming out on the other side stronger than ever."
Smith appeared in five regular-season games and both playoff contests for the Vikings in his rookie season, working as a reserve on defense and on special teams.
Vikings Special Teams Coordinator Marwan Maalouf said during a video conference with media members on Monday that he had spoken with Smith and offered encouragement.