Irv Smith Jr.

Irv Smith Jr.

Tight End #82
ADP:Round: 13, Pick: 9
Team: Minnesota Vikings
Ht / Wt:6'2" / 242 lb.
Born:August 9, 1998
Drafted:2019 / Rd. 2 (50)
Draft Team:MIN

Irv Smith Jr.: Solid sophomore season

Smith caught two of three targets for 30 yards during Week 17's 37-35 win over the Lions.

Analysis: Smith wraps up his second season with 30 catches (43 targets) for 365 yards and five touchdowns through 13 games. It's worth noting that the 22-year-old dealt with lingering groin and back issues during much of the 2020 season, missing three games entirely while having his snap count limited in three other contests. Considering that context, and the difficulty tight ends often face to develop early in their careers, Smith's relatively strong showing could result in his becoming a popular third-year breakout candidate for 2021. Of course, the fact that Kyle Rudolph remains under contract with Minnesota would seem to dampen Smith's possible upside.

January 6, 2021 11:44 AM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: Finds end zone twice in loss

Smith secured six of nine targets for 53 yards and two touchdowns in the Vikings' 52-33 loss to the Saints on Friday.

Analysis: The second-year tight end posted season highs in receptions and targets, while also tying a personal best with his touchdown grabs of two and four yards in the third quarter. Smith has come on over the second half of the season, having recorded multiple grabs in five consecutive contests while also posting all five of his scoring catches during that stretch. The 2019 second-round pick will look to close out the season in strong fashion versus a Lions defense he found the end zone twice against back in Week 9 in a Week 17 rematch.

December 25, 2020 5:29 PM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: Posts 37 yards in Week 15 start

Smith reeled in three of four targets for 37 yards during Sunday's 33-27 loss to Chicago.

Analysis: With Kyle Rudolph (foot) unavailable for the Week 15 divisional tilt, Smith posted his fifth start of the 2020 campaign while tying for third on the team in targets. Tyler Conklin turned out to be the more profitable tight end option against the Bears, however, producing three catches for 57 yards and a touchdown. The Alabama product has offered an inconsistent floor and a limited fantasy ceiling in his second pro campaign, with no more than five targets or 64 receiving yards in any game this season. Smith has also been held under 25 yards on six different occasions, scoring a touchdown in just one of those instances.

December 22, 2020 4:35 PM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: Could handle key role

Smith's teammate Kyle Rudolph (foot) has been ruled out for Sunday's game against Chicago.

Analysis: It's a second straight absence for Rudolph, who prior to this foot injury had been getting some extra targets while Smith missed three out of four games Weeks 10-13. The 22-year-old returned last week and caught four passes for 63 yards and a touchdown in the 26-14 loss to Tampa, but his 35 percent snap share was a season low, with fellow tight end Tyler Conklin getting more playing time (57 percent) and more targets (five). Smith should see his role increase now that he's off the injury report, facing a Chicago defense that's given up the fourth-most fantasy points to tight ends.

December 18, 2020 12:15 PM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: Finds end zone in loss

Smith secured al four targets for 63 yards and a touchdown in the Vikings' 26-14 loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday.

Analysis: The second-year tight end had the opportunity for more targets with position mate Kyle Rudolph (foot) out of action, but Smith actually saw just a slight bump over the 2.6 targets per contest he came into the contest with. However, Smith put the opportunities to good use, leading the Vikings in receiving yards while tying Justin Jefferson for second in receptions. Smith also garnered Minnesota's only touchdown through the air, recording a 14-yard scoring grab late in the third quarter. Smith will look to follow up the solid performance in a Week 15 matchup versus a Bears defense that's been vulnerable to tight ends this season.

December 13, 2020 2:40 PM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: Available Sunday

Smith (back) is active for Sunday's game at Tampa Bay.

Analysis: While Smith puts an end to a two-game absence, fellow tight end Kyle Rudolph will take a seat for the first time since 2014. Smith has surpassed 50 yards receiving just twice in nine games this season, but with a few more targets freed up due to Rudolph's absence, he and Tyler Conklin are poised for bigger roles.

December 13, 2020 8:35 AM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: Likely to play at Tampa Bay

Smith (back), who is listed as questionable, is expected to play Sunday against the Buccaneers, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

Analysis: The 22-year-old is expected to take the field after missing the past two games due to the back issue, but Schefter indicated Smith could still be limited by the injury Sunday. Kyle Rudolph (foot) isn't expected to play, so even with Smith back Minnesota will be missing one of its top tight ends. Tyler Conklin is the only other tight end on the active roster, though he has only four catches for 26 yards this season.

December 12, 2020 9:47 PM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: Listed as questionable

Smith (back) is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Buccaneers, while teammate Kyle Rudolph (foot) is doubtful, Adam Caplan of SiriusXM NFL Radio reports.

Analysis: Smith returned to practice Thursday and Friday as a limited participant, after missing three of the past four games with groin and back injuries. His status may not be confirmed until Sunday morning, but he could have a larger-than-usual role in the passing game if he's active, as Rudolph isn't expected to play. Tyler Conklin will be left as the top tight end if both Smith and Rudolph are inactive ahead of Sunday's 1 ET kickoff.

December 11, 2020 11:42 AM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: Limited in return to practice

Smith (back) practiced in a limited capacity Thursday.

Analysis: Offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak told Courtney Cronin of that Smith had a "positive" day of practice Thursday and may be back "in the mix" this weekend if he looks good again Friday. "He picked up his work today so we're heading in the right direction towards Sunday," Kubiak said. With Kyle Rudolph (foot) not yet able to practice this week, it could be the Smith and Tyler Conklin show at tight end for the Vikings on Sunday in Tampa Bay.

December 10, 2020 11:32 AM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: Back at practice

Smith (back) was spotted at practice Thursday, Andrew Krammer of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

Analysis: Meanwhile, fellow tight end Kyle Rudolph (foot) remained sidelined, with the Vikings' upcoming injury report slated to reveal whether Smith was limited or logged a full session in his return to practice Thursday.

December 10, 2020 9:23 AM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: Not practicing yet

Smith (back) was held out of practice Wednesday.

Analysis: As was fellow tight end Kyle Rudolph (foot), leaving Tyler Conklin as the only healthy option at the position on the active roster. Smith himself hasn't practiced since the first session of Week 12 prep, so he may need to get on the field in some capacity Thursday and/or Friday to give him a chance to suit up Sunday at Tampa Bay.

December 9, 2020 2:14 PM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: Sidelined for Week 13

The Vikings ruled Smith (back) out for Sunday's game against the Jaguars, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

Analysis: Smith will be inactive for a third time this season and for the second week in a row after his back injury prevented him from practicing in any capacity Wednesday through Friday. With Smith out of the picture, Kyle Rudolph should be freed to run more routes at tight end after typically serving as more of a blocking specialist when both players dress. While Smith was sidelined Weeks 10 and 12, Rudolph recorded 11 receptions for 131 yards on 13 targets.

December 4, 2020 11:17 AM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: Spectating at practice again

Smith (back) won't participate in Thursday's practice, Eric Smith of the Vikings' official site reports.

Analysis: Though Smith is at the Vikings' facility, he'll be working out off to the side for a second straight day while he manages the back injury. The Vikings will wait and see if he's able to do anything Friday before ruling on his status for Sunday's game against the Jaguars, but the back-to-back absences from practice to begin the week don't bode well for his chances of gaining clearance to play.

December 3, 2020 9:42 AM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: Unable to practice Wednesday

Smith (back) was a non-participant in Wednesday's practice.

Analysis: Smith missed two of the last three games due to a lingering groin injury, but he now appears to be dealing with just a issue. Courtney Cronin of reports that Smith was at least present Wednesday, which is encouraging, though he wasn't wearing a helmet. Kyle Rudolph will operate as Minnesota's clear top tight end again if Smith can't return Week 13, with Tyler Conklin handling the No. 2 role.

December 2, 2020 2:14 PM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: Downgrades to out for Sunday

Smith (groin) has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Panthers.

Analysis: The second-year tight end sat out in Week 10 with this injury but returned to a limited role in Week 11. However, this injury seems to be lingering, as he'll be sidelined once again this Sunday. Kyle Rudolph will operate as the clear No. 1 tight end, while Tyler Conklin sees an uptick in usage as well.

November 28, 2020 1:50 PM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: Unlikely to play

Smith (groin) is listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against Carolina.

Analysis: Smith sat out Week 10 with the groin injury, but he returned for the Week 11 loss to Dallas and played 53 percent of snaps on offense. His likely absence could benefit Kyle Rudolph, who had season highs for targets (five) and yards (63) in the previous game Smith missed, though it was No. 3 TE Tyler Conklin who took on most of the vacated snaps.

November 27, 2020 10:43 AM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: No practice Thursday

Smith (groin) was listed as a non-participant on Thursday's practice report.

Analysis: After practicing in a limited capacity Wednesday, Smith was held out entirely one day later, which may signify a setback with his groin injury. On the other hand, he may have stayed off the field for maintenance reasons. Look for Smith's status to receive some clarification upon the release of Friday's injury report.

November 26, 2020 11:30 AM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: Limited to start week

Smith (groin/back) was a limited participant in Wednesday's practice.

Analysis: Smith missed Week 10 due to his groin injury but managed to retake the field against Dallas last weekend, hauling in both of his targets for 23 yards while playing 52 percent of offensive snaps. The second-year tight end now also appears to be dealing with a back issue, but as long as he can continue practicing on at least a limited basis he should have a fair chance of suiting up against Carolina on Sunday.

November 25, 2020 12:46 PM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: Two receptions Sunday

Smith had two receptions for 23 yards on two targets in Sunday's loss to Dallas.

Analysis: Smith returned after missing a game due to a groin injury. Smith played on 33 of the offense's 65 snaps. Meanwhile, Kyle Rudolph had three receptions and played on 45 snaps. Both tight ends get only a minor portion of the targets with Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson commanding almost all the activity in the passing game. However, the passing attack may need to diversify the targets if Thielen misses time this week after landing on the COVID-19 list.

November 23, 2020 2:20 PM EST

Irv Smith Jr.: Active in Week 11

Smith (groin) is active for Sunday's Week 11 tilt against the Cowboys.

Analysis: The athletic tight end was trending in the right direction after a week of limited practices, and his active status after a one-week absence is now official. Smith notched touchdown grabs on each of his two receptions in Week 9 against the Lions before missing the Week 10 win over the Bears, and he'll look for similar success versus a vulnerable Cowboys defense that's surrendered 39-386-5 line to tight ends this season.

November 22, 2020 12:02 PM EST

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