By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Irv Smith Jr., who was set to take over as the Minnesota Vikings’ No. 1 tight end after Kyle Rudolph’s departure, reportedly needs a surgery that will cause him to miss the start of the season.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports Smith will undergo surgery for a meniscus injury, and the exact timetable for his return is “TBD.”

Last season, Smith caught 30 passes for 365 yards and 5 touchdowns as the No. 2 tight end behind Rudolph. The Vikings released Rudolph in March, and he’s found a new home with the New York Giants.

Smith, who the Vikings drafted out of Alabama in the second round in 2019, is expected to be Rudolph’s successor.

Tyler Conklin, Zach Davidson, Brandon Dillon and Shane Zylstra are the other tight ends listed on the Vikings’ roster. Davidson and Zylstra are rookies. Dillon has caught one pass in his career, while Conklin has 32 catches across three seasons.