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Vikings linebacker Cameron Smith will undergo open-heart surgery

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Minnesota Vikings inside linebacker Cameron Smith (59) lines up during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park, N.Y., Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/David Dermer)

Vikings linebacker Cameron Smith had a COVID-19 follow-up exam this past week and it might have saved his life. Smith announced Saturday on Instagram that he needs open-heart surgery and will miss this coming season. Smith’s heart issue was discovered during the exam.

Here’s the post from Smith.

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Earlier this week I found out I need open heart surgery to fix a bicuspid aortic valve that I was born with. Although this will unfortunately end my 2020 season, it is really a blessing that we found this as my heart is severely enlarged and wouldn’t have lasted much longer. I found this out after I tested positive for COVID and had to have further testing done as protocol. The Lord works in mysterious ways, but I could really feel him on this one!🙏🏻 There is a surgery that will allow me to continue to play football as soon as I am healed and cleared and I didn’t think twice about going with that one. By no means am I ready to be done playing football, there is still so much more I want to accomplish on the field. Im going to attack this like everything else I have in life. Already looking forward to the comeback! #SKOL

A post shared by Cam (@_killacam) on

Smith, 23, was drafted in the fifth round by the Vikings in 2019 after playing college football at Southern Cal. He played in five games last season and, as you can see in his post, Smith said he will return to playing football “as soon as I am healed and cleared.”