Minnesota Vikings rookie Justin Jefferson has kept a clean reputation through a prolific first season in the NFL.
But after a hot mic in the Vikings’ loss to the Chicago Bears picked up a heated moment where Jefferson cursed Kirk Cousins’ name, national headlines have fabricated a frustration between the rookie and his quarterback that is most likely just hot air.
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Jefferson: ‘Y’all Love Blowing Stuff Out of Proportion… I Ain’t No Diva Don’t Get it Twisted’
A clip from the Fox broadcast that featured the on-field mics capturing Jefferson saying “F***, Kirk! Come on! Throw the flag,” went viral following the game. A misinterpretation of Jefferson saying “throw the ball” added fuel to Cousins critics’ arsenal who took the opportunity to lay claims that Jefferson’s frustrations are more serious than an ordinary heated moment that was simply captured on the mic.
As many fans had flashbacks to the Stefon Diggs’ time in Minnesota, some were quick to slap Jefferson with the diva label after viewing the viral clip.
Jefferson quickly put the hyped animosity to rest by addressing the tweet after the game.
Throughout his media interviews this season, Jefferson has stuck to the script and vocalized his support in Cousins. He took it a step further a few weeks ago by retweeting a Pro Football Focus graphic that highlighted Cousins’ league-best fourth-quarter passer rating earlier this month.
Cousins addressed the throw in his postgame press conference and seemed unfazed by Jefferson’s vocal grievances which happen between teammates often but aren’t always captured.
“I was working inside on an under route, it got meshed, so I turned to my left and was playing off schedule at that point,” Cousins said. “Was trying to throw it high and safe to Justin — kinda put it in an ours or nobody’s spot — but it ended up being nobody’s.”
Jefferson Breaks Randy Moss’ Team Rookie Reception Record
After not starting the first two games of the season, Jefferson has continued to rack up rookie receiver accolades. On Sunday, he surpassed Randy Moss’ team rookie reception record by notching his 69th catch of the season on a 16-yard gain in the third quarter against the Bears.
Jefferson’s eight-catch, 104-yard performance on Sunday landed him seventh in NFL history for rookie receiving yards. He owns the Vikings record for most 100-plus receiving yards by a rookie.
He is ranked the top rookie wide receiver by Pro Football Focus as Minnesota’s decision to trade away Diggs for the No. 22 overall pick and three other picks has proven lucrative so far.
Third-round rookie Cameron Dantzler has also emerged as the league’s top rookie corner, per Pro Football Focus, after he snagged his second interception of the season against the Bears. Dantzler has allowed a 28.2 passer rating when targeted since he came back from a concussion in Week 11 and has forced three turnovers in the past three games.
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- Trevor Squire is a Heavy contributor covering the Minnesota Vikings and journalism graduate from the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities. Connect with him on Twitter @trevordsquire and join our Vikings community at Heavy on Vikings on Facebook.