Can We Get the Full Justin Jefferson Experience?

Justin Jefferson in Week 18 Could Get Dicey
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A week ago, the Minnesota Vikings headed to Las Vegas for a game against the Raiders. While they were coming off a bye and dealing with uncertainty at the quarterback position, the return of wide receiver Justin Jefferson drew plenty of headlines. That return ended quickly, and we hope to get full exposure on Saturday in Cincinnati.

Can We Get the Full Justin Jefferson Experience?

After missing eight weeks and seven games for the Minnesota Vikings following a hamstring injury, Justin Jefferson returned to his position on the field. Although he did not make the start, Jefferson was brought into the game amidst substantial cheering for the second play of the contest.

Josh Dobbs went to Jefferson immediately, and the decision was entirely too predictable as the pass was nearly picked off and returned the other way for a touchdown. Still, Jefferson had his first target since October 8 against the Kansas City Chiefs.

the full justin
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Jefferson went on to catch two more passes from Dobbs in the contest, but the final one ended his day. An errant throw from Minnesota’s quarterback had Jefferson climbing the ladder, and he got blasted with a legal hit. After laying on the turf momentarily, Jefferson walked off to the medical tent before ultimately hitting the locker room and a local hospital.

Having quickly recovered from a hit that certainly knocked the wind out of him and likely bruised his back or ribs, Jefferson is on track to play this weekend despite a short turnaround. Even while the Bengals are now without quarterback Joe Burrow, Minnesota still needs a full complement of talent to pick up a big road victory.

After such an ugly showing against the Raiders, Kevin O’Connell will be looking for a significant step forward from his offense. Inserting Nick Mullens as the quarterback is a way to jump-start the group, but having a healthy Jefferson for the entirety of a game is another way to give the passer some help.

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Coming back after missing so much time, Jefferson has already noted that he has a new goal of reaching 1,000 yards on the season. He has done so in each year of his career, and despite a quick exit last week, he remains well-positioned to accomplish that feat. With 598 yards to his credit and four games to go, averaging triple digits shouldn’t be put past the superstar.

At the beginning of the season, Jefferson came out of the gate like gangbusters and appeared poised to take down Calvin Johnson’s single-season record by a substantial margin. With over 550 yards in just his first five games, he had put up three games over the 100-yard mark and had topped 150 yards twice.

It seemed the Vikings were set to ease Jefferson back into action on Sunday. He didn’t draw the start and likely would not have been utilized every play. That being said, Jefferson suggested he waited on his hamstring until it was 100%, and Minnesota is absolutely in a position where they must keep winning. Being on the field gives the Vikings a great chance of accomplishing that, so expecting heavy doses of the LSU standout the rest of the way seems likely.

Writer Claims Justin
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We now have confirmation that Jefferson will be back out there on Saturday for the Vikings, but the goal is to keep him there for the weeks ahead. If he can avoid any more unfortunate circumstances, then picking up right where he left off is a pretty good bet. O’Connell wanted his quarterback to show good rapport with the superstar, and now Mullens has the opportunity to show what the tandem can do together.

O’Connell is hoping to get his team back to the playoffs for the second consecutive year under his watch, and if he wants that to happen, a highly productive Justin Jefferson will be a catalyst. Here’s to hoping we see it and a healthy version the rest of the way.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.