Irv Smith Jr., TE (CIN)

Finds end zone in Week 2 loss

Smith secured five of eight targets for 36 yards and a touchdown in the Vikings' 24-7 loss to the Eagles on Monday night.

The fourth-year tight end crossed the goal line in the second quarter for the first time since Week 16 of the 2020 season after missing all of the 2021 campaign with a knee injury. Smith had the look of a budding star that season with a 30-365-5 line across 13 games, but in a previous iteration of the Vikings' offense, he may have had an uphill climb for targets. While plenty of attention is still likely to be bestowed upon wideouts Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, the fact Smith drew the second-most looks Monday night behind the former is reason for optimism that head coach Kevin O'Connell, who utilized Tyler Higbee with effectiveness during his Rams days, will continue affording Smith plenty of opportunity. The 24-year-old's first chance to build on his solid Week 2 effort comes against the Lions in a Week 3 home NFC North showdown.

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