Minnesota Vikings linebacker Cameron Smith needs open-heart surgery and will be sidelined for the 2020 season.
Smith announced the development Saturday on Instagram, having recently learned through testing positive for COVID-19 that he has a serious heart condition.
"I found out I need open heart surgery to fix a bicuspid aortic valve that I was born with," Smith posted. "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. 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!"
The second-year linebacker added that he's elected to undergo a procedure that will allow him to resume playing football once he heals and is cleared. The Vikings selected Smith in the fifth round of the 2019 draft out of USC, where he was a four-year starter. He appeared in five games as a rookie for Minnesota, primarily on special teams, and collected eight tackles.
"By no means am I ready to be done playing football, there is still so much more I want to accomplish on the field," Smith wrote. "I'm going to attack this like everything else I have in life. Already looking forward to the comeback! #SKOL"