Vikings Star Justin Jefferson Suffering From Previously Undisclosed Injury

Justin Jefferson, Vikings

Getty WR Justin Jefferson of the Minnesota Vikings looks on during pregame against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium on November 13, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

The Minnesota Vikings made an unsettling revelation on Wednesday when they abruptly added wide receiver Justin Jefferson to their list of injured players.

Ari Meirov of Pro Football Focus reported the breaking news via Twitter.

“#Vikings WR Justin Jefferson was added to the injury report with a toe injury and was limited today at practice,” Meirov wrote.

The precise nature of Jefferson’s injury was not included in initial reports, nor was its genesis. It was unclear on Wednesday whether the wideout was hurt against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, November 13, or during practice activities this week. However, that the two-time Pro Bowler participated at all in practice on Wednesday is a positive omen for his availability this weekend against the Dallas Cowboys.

Jefferson Joins Several Prominent Players on Vikings Injury Report

Za'Darius Smith, Vikings

GettyPass rusher Za’Darius Smith of the Minnesota Vikings runs toward a play during the third quarter of a game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium on November 13, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images)

Head coach Kevin O’Connell did not include Jefferson in his postgame injury update after the Vikings’ thrilling victory over the Bills Sunday, but he did mention a couple of other star players.

Akayleb Evans and Christian Darrisaw did exit the game with concussions, and then [Za’Darius Smith] was just kind of dealing with a knee contusion there,” O’Connell told reporters. “He was playing hard all day long and finished the game, but we’ll see how he feels [Monday].”

Neither Evans nor Darrisaw practiced on Wednesday, per Minnesota’s official injury report, as they continue to navigate the NFL’s concussion protocol. Star defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson also sat out practice, as he has sat out the Vikings’ previous two games against the Bills and the Washington Commanders with a calf injury.

Smith was a limited participant on Wednesday with his knee contusion, a status that bodes well for his chances to play against Dallas. Starting cornerback Cameron Dantzler went on IR last week and will be out for at least the next three contests.

Vikings Nearing End of Brutal Stretch of Schedule

Kirk Cousins, Vikings

GettyHead coach Kevin O’Connell of the Minnesota Vikings talks to quarterback Kirk Cousins before a game against the Arizona Cardinals at U.S. Bank Stadium on October 30, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)

All those Vikings who did suit up Wednesday were given an easier go of it than normal, as O’Connell chose to scale back the physicality, comparing the session to more of a “walkthrough” than a regular mid-week practice.

The head coach cited the physical nature and length of last weekend’s overtime outing against the Bills, as well as a quick turnaround following the team’s upcoming contest against Dallas. The Vikings will host the New England Patriots in primetime on Thanksgiving Day just four days after they take on the Cowboys.

It has not been pretty or easy, but Minnesota has pulled out consecutive fourth-quarter comebacks to move to 8-1 on the season and into a tie with the Philadelphia Eagles atop the NFC.

The Vikings’ schedule softens somewhat after the holiday game, with 10 days off before hosting the New York Jets. Four of Minnesota’s final five games will be played against opponents who currently sport losing records, and the Vikings won’t play outdoors again until they travel to Lambeau Field for a New Year’s Day battle with the Green Bay Packers.

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