It’s Time for Vikings Rookie to Shine

Jordan Addison Eyeing
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Tuesday, October 10th, could turn out as a rather significant day in Minnesota Vikings history, the date wide receiver Justin Jefferson was lost to injury with an indefinite timetable to return.

The club could find a spurt of wins, circling the wagons around Jefferson’s absence as a rallying cry, or more likely, continue to lose and cause a fire sale before the NFL’s October 31st trade deadline.

It’s Time for Vikings Rookie to Shine

No matter how one dices it, the news isn’t good, especially for fans who envisioned the 2023 Vikings as a playoff team. That dream seems one million miles away with five games in the books.

The silver lining, however, involves rookie wideout Jordan Addison. With Jefferson shelved, now is the time for Addison to shine and show off his 1st-Round draft pedigree.

Time for Vikings Rookie
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Addison was performing just fine with Jefferson in the lineup, recording 19 receptions for 249 yards and 3 touchdowns — which translates to a 17-game rookie statline of 65 catches for 847 yards and 10 touchdowns. Not bad.

Yet, with Jefferson out, Addison has the opportunity to be showcased like a true-blue WR1 because if it’s not Addison — then who?

One Viking Oddly
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Veteran wideout K.J. Osborn has struggled, to an extent, in 2023, plagued by drops and a bizarre target in Week 5 where Osborn appeared to duck with the ball heading in his direction. Punt returner Brandon Powell also plays wide receiver and could bust out a bit with Jefferson on IR.

But, in reality, the next four games should be Addison’s canvas, freed up with defenses allotting attention to T.J. Hockenson, who’s likely chomping at the bit for redemption after a couple of clumsy games. Minnesota drafted Addison at a spot where he should be prepared for the bright lights of WR1 regardless of Jefferson’s job title, and now the USC alumnus can make his case to the world.

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The Vikings could also call up a player like Trishton Jackson, N’Keal Harry, or Lucky Jackson from the practice squad, but make no mistake, all eyes will turn to Addison on Sunday afternoon and beyond. It’s his time.

Addison acknowledged the moment, too, telling reporters this week, “That’s why I’m here. That’s why they brought me here, for me to show them my abilities and my athleticism. I feel like I’m pretty much doing it.”

He’s indeed doing just that, and now Minnesota needs it on a supersized, Jeffersonian scale.

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“Five games in, it’s pretty much slowing down, but each week I’m going up against a pretty solid opponent, so I’ve got to make sure I’m not getting complacent, I’m staying at the top of my game, and I’m working hard throughout the week of practice,” Addison added.

Addison usually had a WR1 workload in college, so this assignment should be nothing new. The only difference is the stakes. It’s not the University of Pittsburgh or USC turning to Addison for WR1 status; it’s the Vikings, a team that probably still feels it can chase a playoff berth, even with a 1-4 record.

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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