ST. PAUL -- First, it was Greg Jennings. Next, it will be Robert Smith.

For the second straight week, Fox will have a former Vikings player serve as an analyst for a Minnesota game for the first time. On Sunday at Indianapolis, Smith, a former running back, will follow Jennings, a former wide receiver who was behind the mic for the Vikings’ opener against Green Bay.

Smith is normally a college football analyst. But with a reduced schedule of college games early in the season because of the coronavirus pandemic, he got a call last month from Fox asking if he would like to fill in the analyst for the Vikings-Colts noon game at Lucas Oil Stadium alongside play-by-play announcer Tim Brando and sideline reporter Sarah Kustok.

“I said, ‘Absolutely,’ ” said Smith, who played for the Vikings from 1993-2000. “It’s a pretty cool experience. Obviously, when you’re in the booth, you’re going to be unbiased, but it’s definitely really cool because I’ve stayed close to the organization.”

It will be Smith’s third NFL game as an analyst. For Fox, he worked the Detroit at Green Bay game to close the 2018 season and the Cleveland at Cincinnati game to close last season.

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Smith, 48, doesn’t see any issues with being close to the Vikings and analyzing one of their games.

“No,” said Smith, the second-leading rusher in Vikings team history with 6,818 yards. “You don’t want to lose credibility as an announcer. It’s always best to be honest and say what’s on your mind and not pull any punches. If there are calls I don’t agree with or I thought a call could have been different, I’ll say it.”

During his preparation, Smith has watched the replay of Minnesota’s opener, an ugly 43-34 loss to the Packers last Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers ripped up the Vikings’ defense, completing 32 of 44 passes for 364 yards and four touchdowns.

“They weren’t able to generate any pressure, and that’s a dangerous combination when you’ve got some young faces in the secondary,” Smith said. “You give Aaron Rodgers the kind of time they did and he’s going to carve a defense apart.”

Smith said for the Vikings to bounce back against the Colts, they need to get pressure on quarterback Philip Rivers and on offense establish running back Dalvin Cook. The day after signing a five-year, $63 million contract extension, Cook had just 12 carries for 50 yards against the Packers.

Smith, who rushed four times in his NFL career for 1,000 or more yards, is very high on Cook, who rushed for 1,135 yards last season to become the eighth different Minnesota back to reach 1,000 in a season.

“He’s got it all,” Smith said. “He’s a fast player with great vision and great movement. One of the more underrated parts of his game is how hard the guy runs. … He’s not the biggest back in the world, but he drives his legs, and he’s an extremely physical runner.”

Smith also pointed to Cook’s receiving ability. He reiterated that Cook has the capability to gain 1,000 yards both rushing and receiving in the same season, a feat that has been accomplished only three times in NFL history.