Testing positive for COVID-19 may have saved Vikings linebacker's life

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota -- Minnesota Vikings linebacker Cameron Smith announced on social media Saturday that he will miss the 2020 football season due to open heart surgery.

Smith, who has been on the Viking's COVID-19 list since July 27, wrote a post on Instagram sharing that while he tested positive for COVID-19, doctors detected he had a heart issue.

"I found this out after I tested positive for COVID and had to have further testing done as protocol," he wrote. "The Lord works in mysterious ways but I could really feel him on this one!"

He added that the surgery will not end his football career. He expects to return to the Vikings in 2021.

"Earlier this week, I found out I need open-heart surgery to fix a bicuspid aortic valve that I was born with," Smith wrote. "Although this will unfortunately end my 2020 season, it is really a blessing we found this as my heart is severely enlarged and wouldn't have lasted much longer. 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," Smith wrote. "By no means am I ready to be done playing football. There is still so much more I want to accomplish on the field. I'm going to attack this like everything else I have in life. Already looking forward to the comeback!"



Smith is the first Vikings player known to test positive for COVID-19. The team has had nine players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, but it doesn't disclose if a player tested positive or was quarantined after coming in contact with someone infected.

Three players, including Smith, remain on the list.
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