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‘It felt like home again’ – Twin Cities

2021-05-28 13:37:52 –

The Vikings made 16 transactions in March, but there was another move that didn’t appear on the official NFL list. And it was the most exciting of all.

Linebacker Cameron Smith, 24, had a thoracotomy to repair the bicuspid aortic valve in August and missed everything last season, but was allowed to play in 2021. Surgery Take a series of tests where this was done.

“I went to Philadelphia in early March and did another follow-up, another CAT scan, and another echo (echocardiography),” Smith said. “When he said that, I felt amazing, how wonderful.”

Smith returned to practice on Monday to start organized team activities. Smith was selected by the USC for the Vikings in the fifth round of the 2019 draft and played five games as a rookie.

“It was interesting because I wasn’t sure how I would feel before this,” said 24-year-old Smith, who also participated in the practice on Tuesday and Wednesday. Of OTA. “I was excited to realize that again, but when I started running, I felt like I had never missed a beat. I felt like I was at home.”

When Smith returned to the field, support spilled over.

“We prayed a lot for Kam, but he’s back here now. It’s a miracle,” said Dalvin Cook, who ran back and said, “He’s with us. It is God running around. I am happy for him. ”

Smith thanked Cook for explaining his comeback, but he wasn’t that dramatic.

“If he wants to call it a miracle, that’s fine,” Smith said. “But in my head, I thought I would definitely come back. I didn’t believe anything else.”

Smith’s Odyssey began when he tested positive for the coronavirus shortly before the start of the training camp and was placed on the Covid-19 list. During the medical examination, he underwent some additional tests.

These tests revealed that Smith was born with a heart defect that needed repair.he Announced on Instagram post He underwent thoracotomy on August 8 and will miss the 2020 season.

“I never felt that there was a problem, but it’s strange to say that Covid essentially saved my life.”

Smith said his condition was determined to be hereditary. He pointed to his maternal grandfather, who died of a heart attack at the age of 65.

Smith was on the list of 2020 season Viking reserve / non-football illnesses. After the surgery, he returned to Minnesota and was around the team on a regular basis for most of the season.

“It was great to be with the players because that was what I really wanted to do,” Smith said. “I think I’ve grown a lot throughout last year’s experience. I changed my role a bit and became a supporter and a cheerful person for my teammates. It’s spiritual to the end. I was sane. ”

His teammates were grateful that he was there. In December, they made him a Viking Received the Ed Brock Carrage Award. Since 1984, this award has been given to players on each NFL team demonstrating their commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage.

From last fall to the start of this year, Smith predicted the moment he was trying to stay fit and wanted to qualify. His parents John and Susie Smith Said he was always in favor of resuming his football career.

“They haven’t been scared or worried,” Smith said. “They took a holistic view of my thinking. I remember when I first met a cardiologist, she recommended that football was out of the question. I remember calling my mother and mother. “No, no. Soccer isn’t over for you.”

Determined to make a fresh start in 2021, Smith changed his uniform number. Linebacker Nick Vigil, who signed as a free agent in March, received Smith’s rookie number 59, and Smith 32 after the NFL changed the linebacker’s number from 1 to 39 in April. Switched to

“After the end of the year (last year), I contacted (equipment manager) Dennis (Ryan) and said he needed a new start and a new number,” Smith said. “And when they brought in the rules of numbers, I just saw the best numbers I could see. I felt like 32 was one. Good feeling …. New myself, I feel like I’ve got a new heart, a new number. I’m new. It’s fun. ”

Still, Smith knows that trials are waiting for him in the field. As a rookie of 2019, he spent most of the season on a practice team, but there is no guarantee that he will have a lot of play time in 2021.

Holdover starters Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks play on almost every snap if they are in good health. Then there are many linebackers competing for the role of reserve with the third starting spot. In addition to Smith, the group includes Vigil, Troy Die, Ryan Connelly, Blake Lynch and Rookie Chaz Salat.

But for now, some Vikings players and coaches have stopped during spring practice to thank Smith for his return.

“It’s a great story,” said attack coordinator Clint Kubiak. “I’m glad he’s back on the grass.”

‘It felt like home again’ – Twin Cities Source link ‘It felt like home again’ – Twin Cities

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