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Vikings LB Cameron Smith, who returned from heart surgery, announces retirement

A triumphant return to the football field was had by linebacker Cameron Smith when he played in the Minnesota Vikings' preseason opener.

Now, Smith has announced his short, yet inspirational, playing career will come to an end.

Smith, 24, announced his retirement from the NFL on Wednesday, via social media.

Following a positive COVID-19 test in August of 2020, Smith found out he needed surgery to repair a congenial heart defect.

Though Smith would miss all of the 2020 season, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer viewed it as a blessing that Smith's positive test led to the discovery of his heart ailment.

"He's going to be able to live a normal life and possibly play football," Zimmer said.

Zimmer's gridiron prognostication came to fruition as Smith started against the Broncos in the teams' Preseason Week 1 game. Smith had a tackle and tallied 23 snaps.

A 2019 fifth-round draft pick out of USC, Smith fought on and though it was brief, he was able to return to the field before making the decision "to tackle this next chapter of my life."

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