Questions Answered: A Surprise Starter, Dumb Justin Jefferson Rumors, Adam Thielen

Justin Jefferson Ranked Strangely Low in PFF's Rankings of WRs
Nov 14, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson. © Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports.

The following questions are about current Minnesota Vikings topics, answered by VikingsTerritory. Today is the May 22nd edition, addressed in a from-the-hip fashion. If you have questions, please email them to [email protected].

A Surprise Starter, Dumb Justin Jefferson Rumors, Adam Thielen

Also, please note: These are opinion-based responses. Some answers will be incorrect from time to time. But we’ll try to keep that to a minimum.

Jefferson Smashes
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Q: Is there a guy who could start for the 2024 Vikings that we’re not thinking about in May?

Vikings Week 17 Final Injury Report
Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports.

Answer: James Lynch.

Lynch missed all of 2023 due to a torn ACL he suffered during training camp. Last season was a contract year for Lynch, so the news was particularly brutal at the time. Now, however, Lynch is back and ready to compete this summer.

And don’t look now, but if Lynch can stay healthy — a big if, given his track record — he has a clear path to playing time. Defensive tackle is one of the softest spots on the Vikings roster, with men like Jerry Tillery, Jonah Williams, and Jonathan Bullard on tap to duke it out for the job next to Harrison Phillips. Lynch can very reasonably eye a roster spot.

Give us Lynch to surpass Tillery, Williams, and Bullard to start Week 1. It can work.

Q: Why do people keep running with these dumb rumors about Justin Jefferson? I saw the latest one about him in New Jersey and therefore interested in the New York Jets.

vikings nopedy nopes
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Answer: It’s just the nature of the beast in The Digital Age.

For those unfamiliar, this is the rumor:

The tweet heavily implied that Jefferson was embroiled in some type of talks with the Jets — which is inexplicable because contracted players can’t just meet with other teams. Jefferson wouldn’t be allowed to arbitrarily meet with New York, even if it was his childhood favorite team or something of the sort. It’s not how the business works.

Q: Do you think Adam Thielen will ever return to the Vikings?

Justin Jefferson
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

A: No.

Thielen will be 34 in August, and the WR room in Carolina is now crowded. He may have a decent season or two left — he played really well in 2023 — but those will occur in Carolina.

Thielen’s last hurrah for the Vikings was 2022. Of course, when he retires, he’ll be welcomed back to Vikings lore with open arms. Yet, because of age, the time has already probably passed for any kind of reunion.

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 MIN 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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