Smith is looking at a four- to five-month timetable for recovery. Even in a best-case scenario, that would effectively rule the tight end out for the regular season. A postseason return remains possible, in theory, but that’s a long way away. For now, Smith will have to focus on rehab while the Vikings plan to be without him for 2021.
Smith, 23, flashed serious potential last year while posting 30 catches for 365 yards and five touchdowns. The football world (and fantasy world) was awaiting a breakout year for Smith, who would have benefited from all the attention paid to Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen and the rest of Kirk Cousins‘ weapons.
Instead, the Vikings will lean more on Tyler Conklin, who is dealing with a hamstring injury. Brandon Dillon stands as the only other tight end on the roster after rookie Zach Davidson and Shane Zylstra were waived on Tuesday. It stands to reason that one of those two players will be re-signed to the 53-man roster once Smith is placed on injured reserve. Alternatively, the Vikings could scour the waiver wire for an out-of-house alternative.