6'2'' / 240 lbs
Slated to assume key role
Coach Zac Taylor indicated Monday that he believes Smith can move into the pass-catching tight end role previously handled by Hayden Hurst, Kevin Patra of NFL.com reports. "Yeah, we think he can come in and play that role for us," Taylor noted of Smith. "There's always competition in that room, but that's the vision that we have for Irv to come in there and fill that role that Hayden had for us."
With Hurst, who recorded a 52-414-2 receiving line on 68 targets over 13 regular-season appearances in 2022, now with the Panthers, Smith has an opportunity to absorb a good portion of the Bengals' vacated tight end targets, assuming he can stay on the field this coming season. Since playing all 16 games as a rookie in 2019, Smith has missed contests in each of the past three years. During the 2022 campaign, an ankle issue limited the 6-foot-2, 240-pounder to eight games and 25 catches for 182 yards and two TDs on 36 targets. When healthy, however, Smith's athleticism and pass-catching ability should prove to be assets to a Cincinnati offense helmed by QB Joe Burrow, which also returns the quality wideout trio of Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd.
Fantasy Points by Week 2022
Weekly Stats 2022
|Fantasy Points||Betting||Receiving Stats||Routes Run|
|1 GB||Dome 72°||0.0||85th||0.00||-2.0||47.5||2||0||0||0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0%||0||0||0||7%||26%||63%||11%|
|2 @PHI||Outdoor 79°||14.6||4th||2.92||3.0||49.5||8||5||36||1||7.2||4.2||3.0||17%||2||0||0||18%||35%||41%||24%|
|3 DET||Dome 64°||5.2||30th||2.60||-6.5||52.5||6||2||32||0||16.0||7.0||9.0||33%||2||0||0||16%||11%||73%||16%|
|4 @NO||Outdoor 64°||5.3||31st||1.77||-4.0||44.5||4||3||23||0||7.7||3.0||4.7||0%||1||0||0||11%||13%||63%||24%|
|5 CHI||Dome 57°||8.2||16th||2.05||-8.5||43.5||5||4||42||0||10.5||5.8||4.8||0%||2||0||0||13%||10%||76%||14%|
|6 @MIA||Outdoor 85°||10.7||14th||2.68||-3.5||45.5||4||4||7||1||1.8||-0.5||2.3||0%||0||0||0||14%||19%||72%||6%|
|8 ARZ||Dome 53°||6.8||21st||1.70||-4.0||47.5||4||4||28||0||7.0||3.5||3.5||0%||1||0||0||13%||15%||79%||6%|
|18 @CHI||Outdoor 32°||4.4||33rd||1.47||-6.5||44.5||3||3||14||0||4.7||3.0||1.7||0%||0||0||0||9%||9%||84%||6%|
Performance Splits: 2020 to 2022
|Fantasy Points||Receiving Averages|
Career Stats by Season: 2019 to 2022
|Fantasy Points||Receiving Stats||Routes Run|
Latches on with Bengals
Smith agreed to a one-year contract with Cincinnati on Monday, Peter Schrager of NFL Network reports.
Smith appeared in eight games a season ago with Minnesota and finished with 25 catches for 182 yards and a pair of scores. He should have a chance to make an immediate impact with the Bengals if he can stay healthy, as he'll join the likes of Devin Asiasi, Tanner Hudson and Nick Bowers in the team's tight end corps, which no longer includes free-agent departure Hayden Hurst.
Set to hit free agency
Over eight regular-season games, Smith recorded 25 receptions (on 36 targets) for 182 yards and two touchdowns in 2022.
Smith got out to a solid start over the first seven games of the season before landing on IR with a high-ankle sprain. The 2019 second-round pick then was activated ahead of the regular-season finale, though he'd already lost his No. 1 tight end spot to T.J. Hockenson, whom the Vikings acquired via trade from Detroit just before Smith went on injured reserve Nov. 1. Smith then finished the campaign by catching one of two targets while playing just four offensive snaps in the wild-card loss to the Giants. He thus finished the 2022 campaign with the lowest receiving marks of his career outside of the 2021 season, when he sat out every game due to a meniscus injury. Smith now is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, leaving it possible he isn't retained by the Vikings.
Three catches in return from injury
Smith gathered in all three targets for 14 yards during Sunday's 29-13 win over Chicago.
It was Smith's first game since suffering a high-ankle sprain in an Oct. 30 win over the Cardinals. He'll work as the second tight end behind T.J. Hockenson, but Sunday's game showed he could have a role in the playoffs. Smith started at tight end with Hockenson when the Vikings opened in a two-tight end set. He won't get many targets, but Smith may get significant snaps.
Comes off IR
Smith (ankle) was activated off injured reserve Saturday.
The trade-deadline addition of T.J. Hockenson has limited the impact of Smith's inevitable return, but the multi-year starter is still a perfect complement in two-tight end sets and likely could be a factor in the Vikings' playoff push. Prior to suffering the ankle injury in Week 8, Smith tallied 22 receptions for 168 yards and two touchdowns as arguably the team's third option behind Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen.
To be activated
The Vikings plan to activate Smith (ankle) from injured reserve before Sunday's game against Chicago, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.
Smith will return as the team's No. 2 tight end, behind trade-deadline addition T.J. Hockenson, with the talented duo potentially inspiring head coach Kevin O'Connell to use more two-tight end sets and fewer looks with three wide receivers and/or fullback C.J. Ham. However it plays out, Smith was designated to return from IR last week and apparently will make it back for the final game of the regular season as a tuneup for the playoffs.