Irv Smith Jr. undergoes thumb surgery, but Minnesota Vikings optimistic he'll be available Week 1

Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. underwent thumb surgery Tuesday and will miss a portion of training camp, coach Kevin O'Connell told reporters.

At this point, the Vikings hope that Smith will be ready in time for their Week 1 game against the Green Bay Packers.

"We still feel very strongly about our process to get him back," O'Connell said, "and hopefully have him -- barring any setbacks -- available for that opener."

Smith missed the entire 2021 season after having surgery to repair meniscus damage in his right knee. He participated Monday in his first full-pads practice in nearly a year, but departed midway through the practice and did not return to drills.

The Vikings' 2021 starter, Tyler Conklin, departed via free agency and signed with the New York Jets. The Vikings signed former Los Angeles Rams tight end Johnny Mundt to back up Smith.

Minnesota has four other tight ends on the roster: Ben Ellefson, Zach Davidson, Shaun Beyer and rookie Nick Muse.