Justin Jefferson Once Again Showcases Hall of Fame Mentality

15 Injury Report
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The Minnesota Vikings want to get their superstar Justin Jefferson back as soon as possible, but they have made it very clear that he has to get to full strength first. A hamstring injury has kept him out of the last four games, the mandatory number of missed games when an athlete is placed on injured reserve. Incredibly, the Vikes won all four contests without their dangerous weapon.

Justin Jefferson Once Again Showcases Hall of Fame Mentality

The current 5-4 record perhaps increased the urgency as the team is in playoff contention, something that seemed impossible when he suffered the injury and the franchise was 1-4, looking at a potential lost season.

Justin Jefferson Once Again Showcases Hall of Fame Mentality
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But the 24-year-old shut down the notion of him not wanting to come back if the team lost some more games, something fans were concerned about, and pundits saw as a real possibility. Asked about how sure he was about wanting to come back this year, the fourth-year player responded:

That’s a no-brainer. I’m always going to want to play football. Whether we didn’t win a game, or if we had won every, single game. Like I said, I love the game of football. I always say that I want to be a Hall of Famer. So, I can’t just sit out missing games just because we’re not doing well. I know that I have a big role on this team. And I know that every chance I get to be on that field, I want to make the most of those opportunities.

Justin Jefferson
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Jefferson often talks about his ambition to become a Hall of Famer. He basically states that whenever he breaks another record. He currently owns the single-season franchise records in receiving yards and receptions, breaking Randy Moss’ and Cris Carter’s numbers. In addition to that, he tabulated the most receiving yards through the first three seasons and before turning 24.

JJ claimed that the next step is to regain the strength in the hamstring and get to 100% before returning so he doesn’t reaggravate the injury later in the season. To achieve that, player and coaches must be patient and give him time to heal. He also said that his hamstring is feeling better daily and that he is still taking it one day at a time without a real timetable.

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Throughout his career, Jefferson has been remarkably healthy. He didn’t miss a game in the first three professional campaigns, and his last extended absence dates back to his high school days.

Jefferson’s presence in practices will help new starting quarterback Joshua Dobbs get to know him and his tendencies better, although he presumably doesn’t participate in team drills yet. His return provides a morale boost but also a spark in terms of explosiveness on offense. T.J. Hockenson and Jordan Addison have taken over as the team’s top targets, and they have done a phenomenal job, proving that they are not just products of Jefferson’s presence and the attention he gets.

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Once the trio–and K.J. Osborn–is back on the field, Dobbs and head coach Kevin O’Connell must make sure to spread the ball around. Jefferson is currently 18th in the NFL in receiving yards despite missing four games. The next chance to take the field is on Sunday at home against the New Orleans Saints, but more likely is the return in Week 11 in Denver or Week 12 when the Chicago Bears visit U.S. Bank Stadium.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt