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.”
More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL