Skip to main content

News | Minnesota Vikings –

Vikings TE Irv Smith, Jr., To Have Surgery This Week; Barr "Doing Really Good"

EAGAN, Minn. — Irv Smith, Jr., will have knee surgery this week, Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer announced Monday morning.

The Vikings tight end was injured during Friday's preseason finale against the Chiefs. Smith played 11 snaps, catching two passes for 39 yards on Minnesota's opening drive.

Vikings Head Team Physician Dr. Chris Larson will perform the surgery.

"Dr. Larson is one of the best in the country, so we expect a good turn out," Zimmer said.

Zimmer said he didn't have details on the surgical procedure.

There generally is a short-term-rehab surgery to repair a meniscus that could allow Smith to be back in a few weeks. A longer-term-rehab procedure could potentially mean a missed season.

"I never heard the six-to-eight-month thing," Zimmer said. "We'll just see where it goes. A lot of times, you can't really tell on that until you get in there."

Smith's injury is a tough blow to the offense, as he was among the training camp standouts this summer.

The injury is also compounded by the fact that fellow tight end Tyler Conklin has missed the past few weeks with his own injury, but Zimmer sounded optimistic about Conklin.

"We're assuming he'll be back Monday," Zimmer said.

Smith's absence could force the Vikings to acquire more depth at that spot with the regular season looming on Sept. 12.

"We're looking. Not just at tight end, at all positions," Zimmer said.

Minnesota also has Brandon Dillon, Zach Davidson and Shane Zylstra on the current roster, but none of them stood out in training camp or the preseason.

"Yeah, well, it's not good," Zimmer said when asked about the depth at tight end.

The head coach later noted that a lack of tight end depth could force the Vikings offense to go away from a two-tight end set and incorporate more wide receivers into the mix.

"I think I know those guys," Zimmer said of Dillon, Davidson and Zylstra. "We may end up being more three-wide with some of the guys we have there. All of this will shake out after the cuts, so we can't jump ahead of ourselves yet."

All NFL teams must get their rosters down to 53 players by 3 p.m. (CT) Tuesday.

Zimmer also provided a quick injury update on linebacker Anthony Barr.

The four-time Pro Bowler first didn't practice on Aug. 4, but returned on Aug. 5. He did not practice the next day, a Friday, and hasn't been on the practice field since.

Zimmer also sounded hopeful the linebacker will be able to make it back for Week 1.

"He's doing really good," Zimmer said. "I think we have a good plan for him to be ready to go."