Questions Answered: Two Defenders Out, Slowing Down DET, Irv Redemption

Questions Answered: Two Defenders Out, Slowing Down DET, Irv Redemption
Nov 16, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson (12) attempts to make a catch against Minnesota Vikings strong safety Harrison Smith. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports.

The following questions are about current Minnesota Vikings topics, answered by PurplePTSD. Today is the September 23rd edition, addressed in a from-the-hip fashion. If you have questions, please email them to

Also, please note: These are opinion-based responses. Some answers will be incorrect from time to time. But we’ll try to keep that to a minimum.

Q: Are the Vikings in serious trouble without Harrison Smith and Andrew Booth?

Sep 26, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) talks with Minnesota Vikings free safety Harrison Smith. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

A: Harrison Smith — yes. Andrew Booth — no.

Minnesota will obviously feel the loss of Smith, who evidently won’t be cleared in time from concussion protocol. But we’ve got news for you: this is why the team used a 1st-Round pick on — you guessed it — a safety in April.

In theory, the Vikings should be just fine pivoting to Lewis Cine for a game. Because otherwise, why draft him in Round 1 if he can’t handle a spot-start in the regular season?

Booth is the CB5-CB6, so his absence isn’t dire. Smith will be missed, but it’s “Cine Time” against the Lions, assuming he gets the start over Josh Metellus.

Q: How can the Vikings slow down this suddenly explosive Lions offense?

Jul 29, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings outside linebackers Danielle Hunter (99) and Za’Darius Smith. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

A: Meet at the quarterback.

Minnesota faced the best offensive line in football on Monday, generating little to no pressure on Jalen Hurts. That mattered. And it cannot happen again.

The best way to slow down Amon-Ra St. Brown and his buddies is for the Vikings defensive line to get at Jared Goff, who isn’t very good in the first place.

After that, life for the linebackers and Harrison-Smith-less secondary becomes easier.

Q: Do you believe Irv Smith atones for his gaffe against the Eagles this week or soon?

Questions Answered: The Thielen Mystery, Irv Smith, Now What?
Sep 19, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports.

A: Yes. Smith is a productive tight end who encountered a mind-boggling, game-changing drop on Monday Night Football.

Life goes on.

It stinks for Smith as 2022 is his contract year, but he can bounce back as soon as Sunday for forgiveness. Too, it was likely encouraging for Smith to see TE1 snaps because his pal, Johnny Mundt, was essentially the TE1 in Week 1.

Smith will recover.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).