Patience Is Key for Justin Jefferson

15 Injury Report
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Justin Jefferson has been out for five weeks, and the team finally started to click at that point, winning all five contests without the top player — certainly a strange coincidence, as no team is better without its best player.

However, on the flip side, that means that the Vikings are winning games despite missing some stars, making the thought of getting the face of the franchise back even more exciting.

Patience Is Key for Justin Jefferson

Patience Is Key for Justin Jefferson
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Jefferson had missed the mandatory four games before his 21-day practice window was opened on November 8. The decision-makers decided to keep him out of the game against his hometown Saints, but he can be activated to the 53-man roster at any point.

Everyone involved, the player and head coach Kevin O’Connell, has tried to stay as non-committal as possible during media appearances, perhaps to keep the flexibility without any added pressure. Jefferson continued that trend on Thursday:

I’m feeling pretty good. New week to get better, to get stronger. I’m looking forward to doing more in practices and getting back to where I would like to be. I’m really just trying to focus on day-to-day at this moment, like I said before, I’m just trying to make sure that it doesn’t come back. Doing the treatment every single day, doing different exercises to strengthen it. Really just making sure to have that endurance, that after a workout, I’m not feeling sore, I’m not feeling achy, so that’s what we’ve been dealing with throughout the past weeks, and every day we’re trying to attack it more and more.

Keep Streak
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings certainly want to get him back as soon as possible, but he can’t be rushed back from a muscle injury, as those tend to get reaggravated if not taken care of properly. Jefferson added that he “wants to be on that field more than anything, competing with his team and competing for a Super Bowl.”

In his absence, Jordan Addison and T.J. Hockenson have taken over as the primary threats in the passing game, while depth player and punt returner Brandon Powell has also added some value. Jefferson has been complimentary of Addison, who had taken over the WR1 duties.

Justin Jefferson Weighs in
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A decision will likely be made later in the week, either during Friday’s practice or perhaps in pre-game warmups. The wideout said that he is ultimately the guy making the final call: “Well, I’m the main person that’s going to make the decision at the end of the day. I’m the person who’s going out there running, I’m the person who’s going out there and putting my body on the line to win games and do things for this organization. I know how I feel, I know how my hamstring is feeling. Of course, we’re going to weigh in on all of the different opinions and what everyone has to say.”

The team’s most dangerous offensive weapon coming back to the field on a team that is really enjoying every game and every week is a fun thought. K.J. Osborn could also return on Sunday from his concussion after logging two full practices on Wednesday and Thursday. Breakout quarterback Joshua Dobbs might have his full arsenal of weapons facing the Broncos, who have also won the last three games.

Jefferson was listed as a limited participant on Thursday’s injury report.

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