Minnesota Vikings free safety Harrison Smith is the only competent player in the Vikings secondary, and they desperately need him to get back on the field. Smith has been out since Week 6 with a turf toe, and the Vikings placed him on the short-term injured reserve. It initially sounded like the second-year safety out of Notre Dame would need to be placed on the injured reserve, but he avoided missing the rest of the season when it was discerned that Smith would not need surgery on his toe.
Tomorrow’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles has always been targeted as Smith’s return date, and he is on track to play. ESPN NFL Nation’s Ben Goessling reports that Smith stated he has “no concerns” about his health going into tomorrow’s game, and Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier stated that the team will activated Smith off of the short-term I.R. if Smith doesn’t suffer a setback today.
Smith’s return couldn’t have come at a better team, since cornerback Chris Cook has already been ruled out. Plus, the Vikings are facing an Eagles passing attack that is definitely potent with Nick Foles at the helm, speed demon DeSean Jackson, and the rising Riley Cooper. It will be interesting to see how good Smith is in his first game back, but there is no doubt in my mind that he’ll be significantly better than all of the other Vikings DBs even if he isn’t 100%.