NFL roundup: Latest league news from Sunday, Aug. 29

NFL roundup: Latest league news from Sunday, Aug. 29

The Minnesota Vikings will enter Week 1 with a sizable hole in the starting lineup.

Tight end Irv Smith is expected to undergo surgery for a meniscus injury that will sideline him for at least the start of the regular season, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported.

Smith’s exact recovery timeline is still to be determined.

A second-round pick out of Alabama in 2019, Smith seemed poised to have a breakout campaign in 2021, with the 23-year-old sitting atop the depth chart thanks to the departure of longtime starter Kyle Rudolph in free agency.

Smith played mostly behind Rudolph his first two seasons but did manage to start in seven games both years. He holds career totals of 66 receptions for 676 yards and seven touchdowns in 29 career games played.

With backup Tyler Conklin dealing with an injury of his own, Minnesota will now have to rely on 2019 undrafted prospect Brandon Dillon and rookie Zach Davidson for production at the position if Conklin is also unavailable for Week 1.

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