Minnesota Vikings linebacker Cameron Smith, who missed the entire 2020 season after open heart surgery, has announced his retirement from football.
Smith, a 2019 fifth-round pick out of USC, returned to the field to play in Minnesota’s preseason opener last week. However, he suffered a concussion in the 33-6 loss to the Denver Broncos.
Tonight, Smith announced his retirement on Instagram. In a heartfelt post, he admitted that he began to wrestle with questions about his health and playing future last year.
“When I had open heart surgery last year, I grappled a lot with what I had been asking my body to do in order to play this great game,” Smith wrote. “Ultimately, I’ve decided that I’ve been asking for it to do too much.”
A three-time All-Pac-12 selection at USC, Smith appeared in five games for the Vikings as a rookie in 2019. He recorded eight total tackles.
“I know this transition isn’t going to be easy, but I am excited to tackle this next chapter of my life with the same passion and pursuit that I did football,” Smith said tonight.
We wish Smith all the best as he moves on to the next phase of his life. Hopefully, he can enjoy long-term good health.