EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Vikings second-year linebacker Cameron Smith will miss the 2020 season because of a heart condition that was discovered after he tested positive for COVID-19 upon reporting to training camp two weeks ago.
The Vikings made the procedural move on Monday of waiving Smith with a non-football injury designation. Upon clearing waivers, he’ll revert to the reserve list for non-football injuries. Smith, who played mostly on special teams as a rookie, was a fifth-round draft pick out of USC in 2019.
The Vikings signed linebacker Quinten Poling over the weekend for depth. Poling was a 2018 seventh-round draft pick out of Ohio by the Miami Dolphins, who kept him on the practice squad. He spent most of last season on the practice squad with the then-Oakland Raiders.
Smith announced on his Instagram account on Saturday that he needs open heart surgery to fix a bicuspid aortic valve he was born with.
“It is really a blessing that we found this as my heart is severely enlarged and wouldn’t have lasted much longer,” Smith said. “The Lord works in mysterious ways, but I could really feel him on this one!”
He said the procedure won’t be career ending.
“By no means am I ready to be done playing football,” Smith posted. “There is still so much more I want to accomplish on the field.”
TOP PHOTO: FILE – In this Aug. 24, 2019, file photo, Arizona Cardinals running back T.J. Logan (22) runs from Minnesota Vikings linebacker Cameron Smith (59) during the second half of an NFL preseason football game in Minneapolis. Smith will miss the 2020 season because of a heart condition. It was discovered after he tested positive for COVID-19 upon reporting to training camp two weeks ago. The Vikings made the procedural move on Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, of waiving Smith with a non-football injury designation. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)
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