Harrison Smith, Minnesota Vikings. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
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Harrison Smith was placed on the COVID/Reserve list on Sunday and the unvaccinated Vikings safety has already been ruled out for next week.
Prior to the Minnesota Vikings‘ eventual loss to the Ravens on Sunday, the team placed star safety Harrison Smith on the COVID/Reserve list. Smith, who is unvaccinated, would have to be out for 10 days if he tested positive for the virus to land on the list.
On the heels of the loss, head coach Mike Zimmer spoke to the media and the subject of Smith’s availability came up.
Zimmer said that Smith had already been ruled out for the Week 10 matchup against another high-end AFC foe in the Chargers, thus indicating that the safety tested positive for the virus given the NFL‘s protocols:
Mike Zimmer insinuated that Harrison Smith tested positive for COVID-19, and thus, as an unvaccinated player, is already ruled out of next week’s game against the Chargers.
— Chad Graff (@ChadGraff) November 7, 2021
Harrsion Smith is unvaccinated and out for Vikings in Week 10
The Vikings defense gave up 34 points to the Ravens in an overtime loss. Though the absence of Smith wasn’t a direct cause of that, it certainly didn’t help.
For a team that’s still flirting with playoff contention, a midseason skid is the last thing that Minnesota can afford to go through right now. Thus, having a player as critical to the defense as Smith is miss two straight games due to the fact that he’s unvaccinated is a big blow.
We’ll have to monitor Smith’s status moving forward beyond Week 10 and see if there is any contact tracing that further depletes the Vikings roster for the matchup against the Chargers.