Minnesota Vikings linebacker Cameron Smith had successful open-heart surgery on Monday and will now begin a 12-week recovery process. Smith will miss the entire 2020 season while recovering from surgery. It was discovered Smith needed to have surgery to repair a bicuspid aortic valve after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this month.
"They were able to repair the heart, and he's in good shape," Zimmer said to reporters on Tuesday. "He'll be in Philadelphia for a while. When he comes back, he talked about before he left trying to help out in any way possible, come to meetings, draw play cards, he'll help with the scout team. We're hopeful he comes back and he's able to play football, but more importantly, it looks like he's going to be great in health."
Smith, a fifth, round pick in 2019 went to Instagram to announce he will have to undergo open-heart surgery. It was a procedure he didn't realize he needed surgery until he tested positive for the coronavirus and underwent further testing. "It is really a blessing that we found this as my heart is severely enlarged and wouldn't have lasted much longer," Smith wrote on Instagram. "I found this out after I tested positive for COVID and had to have further testing done as a protocol. The Lord works in mysterious ways, but I could really feel him on this one!"
Smith will likely be back with the team at the start of the 2021 season. The 23-year old linebacker back played college football at USC where he was a three-time All-Pac 12 selection. In his five games with the Vikings in 2019, Smith recorded eight tackles.
"I feel like I have so much more to learn and I can get a lot better, and I think that getting there and working with the linebackers coach and some of the veterans there, I just think I can learn a lot," Smith said to reporters after being drafted by the Vikings last year. Whatever they need me to do, if it's play the bigger package and stop the run or even come in and play on third down and do whatever they need." Smith will be supporting the Vikings while in Philadelphia. The team looks to build on their success from last season, beating the New Orleans Saints in the wild-card round of the playoffs before losing to the San Franciso 49ers in the divisional round.