Minnesota Vikings' Cameron Smith Discovers He Needs Heart Surgery After Positive COVID-19 Test

Cameron Smith #59 of the Minnesota Vikings watches from the bench during the second half of a preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings at New Era Field on August 29, 2019 in Orchard Park, New York. Buffalo beats Minnesota 27 to 23.
Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

Smith will miss the 2020 season.

Cameron Smith, the second-year linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings, announced Sunday via Instagram that he will miss the 2020 season because he needs to have open heart surgery. Smith, through further testing that was performed after he had tested positive for COVID-19, discovered he needs the surgery to fix a bicuspid aortic valve that he was born with.

"Although this will unfortunately end my 2020 season, it is really a blessing that we found this as my heart is severely enlarged and wouldn't have lasted much longer," Smith wrote. "I found this out after I tested positive for COVID and had to have further testing done as protocol. The Lord works in mysterious ways, but I could really feel him on this one!"

Smith, a 2019 fifth-round pick who appeared in five games as a rookie, is confident that he will resume his career in 2021. Smith said he "didn't think twice" about resuming his career upon receiving the news of his upcoming surgery. 

"By no means am I ready to be done playing football," he wrote, "there is still so much more I want to accomplish on the field. I'm going to attack this like everything else I have in life. Already looking forward to the comeback!"

Smith, who played collegiately at USC, was slated as Eric Kendricks' primary backup on the Vikings' proceed 53-man roster for the 2020 season. Jordan Fehr, an undrafted rookie out of Appalachian State, will look to fill Smith's spot on the depth chart. Last fall, Fehr, an All-Sun Belt Conference performer during his last two seasons at Appalachian State, recorded a team-high 109 tackles while helping the Mountaineers finish the season with a 13-1 record. 

(This story was originally published by CBS Sports on Sunday, Aug. 9)