Smith had said Jan. 2 that he would not need surgery after returning from the ankle sprain to play the Vikings’ final two games, and he played in his second Pro Bowl on Jan. 30. He ultimately decided, however, to have an operation to clean up the injury. The operation, which is believed to be similar to the one Vikings running back Latavius Murray had last week, should have Smith ready in plenty of time for the 2017 season.
The 28-year-old, who signed a five-year, $51.25 million extension with the Vikings last June, left the team’s locker room on crutches after the Vikings’ loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Dec. 1, and missed the team’s next two games before returning on Dec. 24 against the Green Bay Packers.
He did not intercept a pass in 2016 after posting 12 interceptions during his first four years in the league, but registered two sacks while serving as one of the steadying forces for a defense that allowed the sixth-fewest yards and third-fewest points in the league.
ESPN NFL reporter Jeremy Fowler contributed to this report.