Vikings TE Irv Smith Jr. dedicated new neck tattoo to NFL return

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Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. has patiently waited for an opportunity to show the rest of the football world just how much he’s improved as a player.

There were definitely glimpses of it in last year’s training camp before he went down with a season-ending knee injury.

Now, after months of rehabilitation, Smith was back in front of the media on Tuesday, all smiles and determined to pick right back up where he left off.

“I got a butterfly right here on my neck, and it’s like a new beginning,” said Smith. “All the things that I’ve done in my past I still reflect on, but I’m excited for the future and what the future holds for myself and for this team—for this offense. And we’re just going to take it one day at a time. But it’s definitely a new beginning for me, I’d say.”

There’s hope Smith can settle into what should be a powerhouse offense featuring one of the most talented skilled groups in the NFL.

He’s a versatile playmaker capable of lining up anywhere on the field. Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell should get plenty of enjoyment utilizing Smith in ways that’ll create serious mismatches for opposing defenses.

It could potentially lead to him being the breakout player on the roster.

In the two healthy seasons that he’s played, he’s mustered a total of 66 catches, 676 yards and seven touchdowns. Those stats don’t match the talent, and considering it’s a contract year, Smith will be extra motivated to take his game to another level.

A new beginning sounds about right for a fourth-year player with a lot to prove and coming up on the biggest season of his career.

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