Sat. Sep 24th, 2022
Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr.‘s return to game shape hasn’t come without its ups and downs.

Smith dropped a pass in the first half that likely would have gone for a touchdown and turned the tides on an abysmal first half of the Vikings’ 24-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

The fourth-year tight end and the Vikings organization caught some flak from Barstool Sports for the drop due to the jersey number he wears.

Barstool Sports Blasts Vikings, Irv Smith Jr. for Disgracing Randy Moss’ Jersey Number

On Barstool Sports’ Pardon My Take podcast, the show’s cast roasted not only Smith for dropping the pass, but also the Vikings for not retiring Randy Moss‘ jersey number (No. 84), which Smith wears now.

“We have defended the state of Minnesota and the city of Minneapolis and the sports hell they have been in. But I have something I have to push back on. Minnesota, what the f*** are you doing not retiring Randy Moss’ number? Irv Smith dropping that ball, that was a clear touchdown, that could have changed the scope of the game and how it was being played. That’s on you,” Barstool Sports’ Big Cat said on a Wednesday airing of the podcast.

“The fact that you have a tight end wearing 84, Randy Moss’ number… I don’t want to say it, but that’s a bad sports town move, to not retire [the number of] one of the greatest wide receivers of all time. And now you have f***** Irv Smith wearing it? Dropping balls. Dropping touchdowns. That’s crazy,” Barstool Big Cat added. “That is just karma. Irv Smith was meant to drop that ball because you f****** have Randy Moss’ number running down the sideline on Monday Night Football.”

The podcast also listed the player jersey numbers Minnesota has retired and found another glaring omission, John Randle’s No. 93.

“What are you doing, Minnesota,” Big Cat pleaded.

It seems inevitable that Moss’ number will be retired eventually, however, there have yet to be any official public statements from the Vikings on the matter.

In the meantime, Minnesota has retired these six jersey numbers:

No. 10: Fran Tarkenton
No. 53: Mick Tingelhoff
No. 70: Jim Marshall
No. 77: Korey Stringer
No. 80: Cris Carter
No. 88: Alan Page

Vikings’ Irv Smith Jr. Answers for Dropped Pass vs. Eagles

While Smith came under scrutiny for his drop, the fourth-year tight end is still coming back from thumb surgery which set him behind in his first training camp since missing the entire 2021 season due to a meniscus injury — the much larger concern of his recent injury spell.

It wasn’t all bad for Smith on Monday. He caught five passes for 36 yards on eight targets and a touchdown. Most importantly, he showed the running ability that made him a second-round prospect coming out of college is still there on this third-down conversion.

Smith is on the final year of his rookie deal and will need to put his worth on the field this season if he’s going to receive a second contract by the new Vikings regime.

“A loss like this isn’t pretty, we don’t take it lightly at all, but at the same time we have a long season and we know our goals ahead. As a team we’re just going to come together, take this and look ourselves in the eye as men and move forward,” Smith said in a September 19 locker room interview. “Your objective as a tight end and an offensive player is to score touchdowns and put points on the board. Doing that, I was definitely excited, some plays I wish I would have made but there’s room to improve.”

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