Justin Jefferson Is Anxious

Jefferson Makes His
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports.

Justin Jefferson has a playful fear of missing out.

FOMO indeed, the reigning Offensive Player of the Year wants back on the field and used the X app to make his intentions crystal clear.

Justin Jefferson Is Anxious

The Minnesota Vikings took down the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, 27-19, the club’s fifth consecutive win after a terrifying 1-4 start, and are now in the driver’s seat to reach the playoffs.

Justin Jefferson Is Anxious
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Unsurprisingly, Jefferson is stoked about the winning streak and is ready to contribute on the field sooner rather than later. The 24-year-old tweeted Sunday, “I can not wait to get on the field with this team again!!!😝😝😏.”

Here’s the tweet in the flesh:

Without a direct correlation, Minnesota has become a better football team sans Jefferson for two reasons. a) The defense ramped up rapid improvement, almost aligned with the moment Jefferson was injured in October. b) The team’s silly fumble and interception problem stabilized shortly after Jefferson’s injury.

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But before the injury, Jefferson was the Vikings offense, with side dishes of T.J. Hockenson, Jordan Addison, and, of course, Kirk Cousins. When Jefferson returns, though β€” which should be this weekend or next β€” he’ll encounter a team quite different from his Week 5 departure.

Cousins was lost for the season to an Achilles rupture. RB2 Cam Akers suffered the same injury. And when Jefferson hit injured reserve with his hamstring ailment, the Vikings found ways to lose in close games. Fast forward to mid-November, and Minnesota now finds ways to win, not unlike the 2022 season.

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The timeline for Jefferson’s return? Probably this Sunday or the following Monday. The Vikings play the Broncos onΒ Sunday Night Football, and Jefferson has a better chance of seeing the field than last week. “Yeah, we’ll see, We’re going to ramp him up. He handled the workload we started him out with last week opening up his window to get him back on the practice field,”Β O’Connell told the mediaΒ on Monday.

Minnesota leaned on tight end T.J. Hockenson against the Saints for their first straight win, and he delivered to the tune of 11 receptions, 134 yards, and a touchdown.

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O’Connell continued, “We’ll see what that looks like throughout the week, maybe a little bit more here and there. Nobody wants to be out there more than Justin, maybe with the exception of me wanting him out there. We’re going to continue to be smart with Justin and know that when we do get him back it’s going to be a major, major boost for us, getting the best receiver in football back out there with the group and the confidence that that group’s had kind of overcoming him not being out there with us.”

So, with Jefferson more than eager to return for the club’s playoff push, he’s more excited than anyone else, which, in theory, should spell doom for some defensive coordinators.

The Vikings are early 2.5-point underdogs for the showdown with Denver.

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 Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.