Vikings Dodged Bullet with Rookie

Draft Grade from Last
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Almost everything about Christmas Eve and Christmas Day was bad for the Minnesota Vikings, falling to the Detroit Lions on Sunday and likely losing tight end T.J. Hockenson for the remainder of 2023 and possibly some of 2024.

Vikings Dodged Bullet with Rookie

Starting outside linebacker D.J. Wonnum also tore his quad, ending the veteran defender’s season and casting his future with the Vikings into doubt as Wonnum will hit free agency in less than three months.

But with that rotten trifecta, Minnesota appeared to dodge a bullet regarding rookie phenom Jordan Addison, who also left Week 16 due to injury. Addison could miss next weekend’s pivotal game versus the Green Bay Packers, but his general prognosis isn’t grim.

Dodged Bullet
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NFL Network‘s Ian Rapoport tweeted Monday. “Jordan Addison is considered week-to-week with an ankle sprain, source said, pending further testing today. That info comes today.”

Sources tell VikingsTerritory that the aforementioned Hockenson is feared to have torn his ACL, so anything not season-ending for Addison should be considered positive.

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Minnesota has a 27% chance of reaching the postseason after losing to the Lions and must win its next two games while hoping the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks lose a single game — just one — between them. Had Addison definitively been lost for the season, like the current Hockenson rumblings, the Vikings’ odds of winning two games against the Green Bay Packers and Lions would’ve lessened substantially. But the week-to-week update from Rapoport suggests Addison could be ready on New Year’s Eve or the week after.

Addison has compiled 63 receptions for 826 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns in 2023 — a magnificent opening salvo as a pro. In fact, when Justin Jefferson was lost for seven games in October and November, Addison, along with Hockenson, helped keep the offense afloat with a hodgepodge of quarterbacks feeding him the rock. The USC alumnus developed immediate chemistry with Kirk Cousins, virtually none with Joshua Dobbs, and began to find the way back with Nick Mullens in recent weeks.

due for a big game
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) does a Lambeau Leap with Vikings fans Craig Lindsay, Nick Johnson and Chris Gangl against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, October 29, 2023, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. The Vikings won the game, 24-10. © Tork Mason / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Meanwhile, the Vikings are in backs-against-the-wall mode entering Week 17. Any single win versus the Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, or Lions in the last handful of games would’ve plopped Kevin O’Connell’s team in the driver’s seat for a playoff spot, but no such luck. Ergo, as fans monitor Addison’s availability for Sunday night, a healthy version of the rookie might feel required.

If Addison is a no-go in Week 17, K.J. Osborn and Brandon Powell would be summoned for WR2 duty, although both are significant downgrades per sheer talent.

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The Vikings are early 2.5-point favorites to knock off the Packers on New Year’s Eve. More information about Addison’s status will be available on the club’s first injury report Wednesday.

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).

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