Vikings TE Tyler Conklin is ‘all good’ for Week 1 against the Bengals

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The Vikings received a blow to their tight end unit this week: Irv Smith Jr. suffered a meniscus injury and will be sidelined for at least the start of the year.

But at least one of the team’s top tight ends should be ready to go early in 2021. Tyler Conklin, the presumptive tight end two before Smith’s injury, said he is all good for Week 1 against the Bengals.

Conklin suffered a hamstring injury earlier this offseason. He recently spoke with reporters about having to take on a big role in the offense now that Smith is out for the time being:

“I think everything in my career has happened for a reason. Sometimes you know you get thrown out there and you’re not prepared, but I think in my situation, I’ve got to learn from a good vet in Kyle Rudolph.” Conklin said, via Andrew Krammer of the Star Tribune. “I got to be eased into and basically play a starting role in the last four to six games last year and got to go and have a strong offseason.”

For the Vikings, Conklin’s self-proclaimed strong offseason needs to do wonders for him as the team’s primary tight end. Smith’s presence in the offense will be missed, but if his injury only leaves him out a few games, the Vikings’ season isn’t doomed by any means.

If Smith’s injury is season ending, maybe the team should look at free agent tight ends or possibly working out a trade. For now, though, Conklin is the clear primary tight end. Let’s see what happens.