Irv Smith Jr., a former Alabama star tight end, is coming into his third season with the Minnesota Vikings but has been dealing with injuries in the offseason.

Over the last few weeks, Smith Jr. has been dealing with a thumb injury suffered at the beginning of training camp. After tearing his meniscus in the last year’s preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs, his thumb injury left unsettling news for the standout from Alabama.

But, in a press conference on Thursday, Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell says that Smith will likely be on the field by Week 1:

After undergoing thumb surgery shortly after the injury occurred at the start of August, Smith is now preparing to be available to get in the offensive huddle and start making plays.

“Everything with Irv has been really positive, you guys will see him during these practices,” O’Connell stated during his Thursday morning press conference. “We’ll pick some spots over the next few weeks to really get Irv acclimated back in that offensive huddle.”

The rehab and consistency to gear back into being able to catch footballs will be one of the biggest challenges that Smith will be dealing with for some time. But, all signs seem to be looking good for Smith to play on Sunday, Sept. 11, against the Green Bay Packers.