Injury to Vikings WR Could Be Serious

Injury to Vikings WR Could Be Serious
Aug 24, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Bisi Johnson. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings hope to dodge a bullet as wide receiver Bisi Johnson was hurt Saturday night in a preseason game at the Broncos. The team will know more about the injury in the next couple of days.

Johnson was among a litany of injured Vikings, including Jalen Nailor, T.Y. McGill, Josh Metellus, Troy Dye, and Brian Asamoah. For now, though, Johnson’s injury is considered the most concerning for the long-term.

Speaking about Johnson’s knee injury after the 23-13 loss in Denver, head coach Kevin O’Connell said, “We’re obviously going to have to run some more tests on that. Did not look good to me.”

Justin Jefferson / Bisi Johnson
Nov 29, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) laughs with wide receiver Bisi Johnson. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

Johnson, 25, missed the 2021 season with a torn ACL. If O’Connell’s fears are confirmed, Johnson could miss two seasons in succession. What’s more, Johnson was trending to make the Vikings 53-man roster this week as a WR5. Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, K.J. Osborn, and Ihmir Smith-Marsette seem to have the first four WR jobs wrapped up, but Johnson was on track for a roster spot.

The Vikings drafted Johnson in 2019 from Colorado State in the 7th Round. In his first two seasons, before the torn ACL, he caught 45 passes for 483 yards and three touchdowns. In fact, at a time in 2019 and 2020 when the Vikings seemingly glossed over the WR3 position, Johnson emerged as the WR3 by default. The upcoming season was supposed to be his return to prominence.

Unsung Vikings WR Returns to Action
Sep 20, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Bisi Johnson. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports.

Back in the spring, Johnson told FOX9 in Minneapolis about re-intensifying his love for football after the bout with injury, “You kind of get stagnant, you know? You’re going through the same motions. You’re going to work every day. You’ve been practicing every Monday through Friday the last three years I’ve been in the league. You know, as much as I still loved it, I probably lost it a little.”

But Johnson claimed the ardor came rushing back, “And then I sat out a year, and I’m like, ‘I really missed this. I really missed football.'”

The “good” news for Johnson would be some kind of sprain, not needing a season-long recovery. However, any time a coach says “didn’t look good,” that’s usually a precursor to the worst-case scenario.

The Vikings will finalize the final regular season roster on Tuesday. If the worst is confirmed for Johnson, Jalen Nailor, Myron Mitchell, or Trishton Jackson would be on deck as a replacement.


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).


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