Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith is dealing with another injury.
Head coach Kevin O'Connell said Tuesday that Smith suffered a thumb injury in practice on Monday and underwent surgery Tuesday.
O'Connell is hopeful the tight end will still be ready by the season opener, Sept. 11, against the Green Bay Packers.
Smith missed the entire 2021 season after suffering a torn meniscus. The young TE also missed three games in 2020.
The Vikings view the 23-year-old as a potential breakout candidate coming off the knee injury. A second-round pick in 2019, Smith owns enticing pass-catching skills that should mesh well in O'Connell's system. He just hasn't been able to stay healthy.
The hope is that Smith can return from thumb surgery before Week 1 and jump right back on the train.
The Vikings are counting on Smith being healthy. Behind the starter, Minnesota has Ben Ellefson (one career catch), Johnny Mundt (10 career catches), Zach Davidson (zero career games played) and seventh-round rookie Nick Muse in the TE room. Given Smith's injury, the Vikes could be in a position to add a veteran option.