Minnesota Vikings linebacker Cameron Smith has a heart condition that will require surgery and force him to miss the entire 2020 season, a realization that was made only after he tested positive for the coronavirus.
Smith announced the diagnosis Saturday in an Instagram post and said the open heart surgery will fix a bicuspid aortic valve.
“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 said in the post. “I found this out after I tested positive for COVID and had to have further testing done as protocol.”
Smith, the No. 162 overall selection in the 2019 draft, appeared in five games last season and recorded eight tackles. A four-year starter at USC, Smith racked up 354 tackles, 3.5 sacks and four interceptions with the Trojans.
“There is a surgery that will allow me to continue to play football as soon as I am healed and cleared and I didn’t think twice about going with that one,” Smith said. “By no means am I ready to be done playing football, there is still so much more I want to accomplish on the field. Im (sic) going to attack this like everything else I have in life.”