Vikings LB Cameron Smith discovers heart disease after positive COVID-19 test

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MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota Vikings linebacker Cameron Smith has said he would miss the 2020 NFL season with congenital heart disease he only discovered after testing positive for COVID-19 .Smith, a 2019 fifth-round pick, announced on Saturday that he will need open heart surgery to repair a bicuspid aortic valve. It’s a procedure he didn’t realize he needed before he tested positive for coronavirus and underwent further testing.

“While this will unfortunately end my 2020 season, it’s truly a blessing that we’ve found this as my heart is severely enlarged and wouldn’t have lasted much longer,” Smith wrote in an Instagram post.

The linebacker said the operation would allow him to continue playing football once he was healed and that he “hadn’t thought twice before going.”

Smith was a four-year starter at USC, where he totaled 354 tackles for the Trojans and won All-Pac-12 honors in three seasons. He appeared in just five games for the Vikings in his freshman year and landed eight tackles.

Minnesota added depth to linebackers on Saturday by signing former Raiders linebacker Quentin Poling. The team gave up running back Tony Brooks-James as a matching move.

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