Vikings hope TE Smith (thumb) is back in Week 1

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Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. underwent thumb surgery Tuesday and will miss part of training camp, coach Kevin O’Connell told reporters.

At this point, the Vikings are hoping Smith will be ready in time for their Week 1 game against the Green Bay Packers.

“We still feel very strongly about our process to get him back,” O’Connell said, “and hopefully — barring setbacks — have him available for the opener.”

Smith missed the entire 2021 season after undergoing surgery to repair meniscus damage in his right knee. He participated Monday in his first practice in full pads in nearly a year, but left midway through practice and did not return to practice.

Vikings 2021 starter Tyler Conklin left via free agency and signed with the New York Jets. The Vikings signed former Los Angeles Rams tight end Johnny Mundt to back up Smith.

Minnesota has four other tight ends on the roster: Ben Ellefson, Zach Davidson, Shaun Beyer and rookie Nick Muse.

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