Justin Jefferson’s Injury Outlook Is Better than Last Time

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It probably won’t be multiple games this time.

That’s the word from the Minnesota Vikings on Justin Jefferson’s latest injury. The young wide receiver grabbed a wild pass from quarterback Joshua Dobbs, got pounded by Las Vegas Raiders safety and former Viking Marcus Epps, left the game because of the whack — and headed to the hospital.

Justin Jefferson’s Injury Outlook Is Better than Last Time

Somehow, Minnesota held on, beating the Raiders 3-0 in a drought-infused showdown.

Injury Outlook Is Better
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And the update on Jefferson’s prognosis was rather optimistic on Monday. ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted, “Vikings’ HC Kevin O’Connell considers WR Justin Jefferson day-to-day with the chest injury he suffered Sunday vs. the Raiders and the team believes he has a chance to play Saturday vs. the Bengals.”

O’Connell specifically said Jefferson has a “hopefully good chance of playing with us in Cincinnati.”

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Jefferson finished with 2 catches for 27 yards, while his team’s defense shut the door entirely on Raiders’ passer Aidan O’Connell and Las Vegas’ offense. It was one of those afternoons, survive and advance through and through.

After the game, Kevin O’Connell was reasonably optimistic. O’Connell mentioned about Jefferson’s injury, “It looks like we avoided any significant thing there.”

Before the Week 14 win, Jefferson missed seven games on injured reserve due to a hamstring injury, and at Las Vegas was slated as his triumphant return. The league’s reigning Offensive Player of the Year was indeed back, but the immediate ailment to another part of the body was hard luck.

Unwaveringly Committed
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Without Jefferson from Weeks 6 through 13, Minnesota banked five wins to just two losses, a season-saving swing that has sideways positioned the Vikings to enter the postseason as a wildcard participant. As of Monday morning, Minnesota has a 64% probability of making the playoffs, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI).

The Vikings’ coaching staff proceeded with extreme caution during Jefferson’s first injury stint this season, so Monday’s update from O’Connell was especially encouraging. It likely won’t be multiple weeks of “will he or won’t he play?” this time.

Justin Jefferson
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En route to the 3-0 triumph, O’Connell’s team struggled mightily on offense — perhaps some of the most ineffective passing game theatrics in decades for the purple team — and benched the aforementioned Dobbs late in the game. The original QB2 from the start of the season, Nick Mullens, took over and instantly forged momentum. His drive led to a game-winning field goal and a probably QB1 assignment at the Bengals on Saturday.

Minnesota has played four games at Cincinnati in the last three decades and lost them all.

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.