It was previously reported this morning that Minnesota Vikings second-year safety Harrison Smith might need season-ending surgery on his turf toe. However, the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that Smith is not planning on going the surgery route right now, but a source told Rapoport that Smith will “likely” be placed on the Vikings injured reserve with a designation to return.
Losing Smith for a significant period of time would be a devastating blow, because he is the best defensive back on the Vikings. There is no backup safety who can adequately replace Smith, and the Vikings secondary is just a disaster around him. They were torn to shreds by Cam Newton this past week, and they gave up an obscene amount of yards after the catch. The sad part is that the Vikings have two DEs who are more than capable at putting pressure on the quarterback; it’s just that the cornerbacks are too incompetent.
Smith’s turf toe caused him to leave last week’s game against the Carolina Panthers, and turf toe injuries are among the most tricky and painful to deal with. We can only hope that Harrison Smith will be able to avoid surgery and return to full health sooner rather than later, but a trip to the short-term I.R. seems in order. The alternative is undergoing surgery and missing the entire year, and that’s still a possibility. Enough can’t be said about how much better Smith is than the rest of the Vikings DBs, and that’s why he’s so important.