He’s Back. Vikings Speedster Returns.

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Within seven days, the Minnesota Vikings lost wideout Justin Jefferson and pass rusher Marcus Davenport to injured reserve, each slated to miss at least four games.

Not ideal.

He’s Back. Vikings Speedster Returns.

But a bit of good news arrived on Wednesday morning, as the Vikings designated second-year wide receiver Jalen Nailor to return from his IR stint.

Nailor landed on injured reserve a month ago with the same ailment as Jefferson, a hamstring.

Vikings Speedster Returns
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From the Vikings X app tweet, Nwangwu directly usurped the open roster spot left by Davenport’s IR trip, but Nailor could be ready before too long, especially because Minnesota waived fellow wideout Trishton Jackson on Tuesday.

And the Vikings desperately need WR options, so Nailor’s return will be a welcome sight. With Jefferson on the shelf, the Vikings employ Jordan Addison, K.J. Osborn, Brandon Powell, and N’Keal Harry on the active roster. The purple offense struggled immensely last week at the Chicago Bears, particularly in the 2nd Half, holding on for an ugly win by a score of 19-13.

WR Returns
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A productive Nailor, in theory, could be an ingredient to the special sauce needed to keep the enterprise humming until Jefferson returns. Jefferson is on tap to miss three more games, and the Vikings will determine his game readiness after a showdown at the Atlanta Falcons.

Nailor, 24, was added to injured reserve around the same time the Vikings traded for running back Cam Akers. But now apparently recovered from a hamstring injury, Nailor can be activated to the gameday roster anytime in the next 21 days.

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Nailor recorded 9 receptions for 179 yards and a touchdown in his rookie campaign, along with some flamboyant clips to satiate fans’ appetites for his long-term trajectory. Incidentally, Nailor did most of his damage in “garbage time” and will hope to repeat the production  and then some  in the middle of games at some point in 2023.

In that limited sample, Nailor showed the gumption to thrive at the NFL level, and it will be up to him to determine if he’s got the grit for WR3 or WR4 on an every week basis. He laid the blueprint down the stretch of 2022.

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Heading into the 2022 NFL Draft, Minnesota’s wide receiver coach Keenan McCardell reportedly ‘pounded the table’ for Nailor. At Michigan State in 2021, he tallied 695 receiving yards and six touchdowns. Nicknamed Speedy, the young playmaker has run a 4.39 forty-yard dash in the past, although he registered a 4.5-mark at the 2022 NFL Combine.

The Vikings offense ranks 15th leaguewide through six games per DVOA.

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.