The Justin Jefferson Injury Update Is Familiar

The Justin Jefferson Injury
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Last week, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson was basically questionable-but-doubtful.

Heading into Week 11 at the Denver Broncos, Jefferson can be considered questionable-actually-questionable.

The Justin Jefferson Injury Update Is Familiar

The phenom playmaker has missed five games due to a hamstring injury. Incidentally, his team began winning football games the moment he hit the shelf. Sometime soon, the Vikings will hope to do both — have Jefferson in the lineup and continue winning.

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Before Week 10, when the Vikings knocked off the New Orleans Saints, Jefferson was listed as questionable during the build-up to the NFC contest, but most Vikings leaders and credible NFL pundits insisted the 24-year-old likely wouldn’t play. Head coach Kevin O’Connell said it would be “a little bit aggressive” to think Jefferson was ready for New Orleans.

Then, last weekend arrived, Jefferson was not activated for the contest, and he watched from the sidelines.

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Now, though, the tone is a bit different. The Vikings play the Broncos on 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,” O’Connell told the media on Monday.

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

QB at ATL Will
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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.”

The Vikings now have an 86.4% chance of reaching the postseason, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI). Soon, Jefferson will return to help his team nail down a playoff spot and perhaps steal the NFC North lead away from the Detroit Lions.

“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,” O’Connell concluded.

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The takeaway? Last week at this time, it was almost certain Jefferson would not play. It’s a true coinflip this week, and his return is close, no matter what.


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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.

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