All-Pro WR Sends Strong Message on Vikings’ Justin Jefferson

Justin Jefferson, Vikings

Getty Wide receiver Justin Jefferson of the Minnesota Vikings warms up before the game against the Detroit Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium on September 25, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Minnesota Vikings‘ wide receiver Justin Jefferson had all but disappeared over the last two weeks but after an international victory Sunday, all eyes are back on the young star.

The Vikings eked out a three-point win, 28-25, over the New Orleans Saints in London on October 2, and Jefferson was the undisputed MVP of the contest. The wideout grabbed 10 catches for 147 yards and also scored a rushing touchdown to lead Minnesota to a 3-1 record on the season — good enough to guarantee the NFC North Division lead for at least another week.

Jefferson’s performance, and accompanying stat line, would be hard for any football fan to miss, whether in the United States or Great Britain. But free agent Odell Beckham Jr. took a deeper look into what Jefferson accomplished Sunday and saw something that had been, until that moment, essentially unique — a reflection of himself.

@JJettas2 literally twin. Clone. Boy u bad!” Beckham tweeted. “God whatever u had in store for me make sure lil bruddaaa get all of that frfr 😂.”

Beckham is a three-time Pro Bowl selection and earned second-team All Pro honors twice in his career. He claimed his first Super Bowl ring last season as a member of the Los Angeles Rams and remains a free agent through four weeks as he rehabs from a torn ACL suffered in February.

Somewhat ironically, Beckham could end up competing with Jefferson for a division title and/or in the NFC Playoffs if the wideout makes a push to join the Green Bay Packers. The Packers’ offense appears in need of help at receiver and as a contender with a quality quarterback in Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay fits Beckham’s criteria for potential teams he might join upon his return later in the season.

Vikings’ Adam Thielen Crowns Jefferson Best WR in Entire NFL

Justin Jefferson Adam Theilen

GettyWide receivers Justin Jefferson (left) and Adam Thielen (right) of the Minnesota Vikings during player introductions before a game at U.S. Bank Stadium on September 26, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

Beckham wasn’t the only Pro-Bowl receiver to shout out Jefferson after his performance Sunday. Adam Thielen, the No. 2 wideout in the Vikings’ offense, offered his teammate high praise following the victory in London.

I strongly believe he’s the best receiver in this league. You just have an extra motivation to cheer for a guy that is not only a great football player, what he does on the football field is amazing, but he’s an even better person.

I’m not just saying that because he’s my teammate. I love going to work with him every day. I get to spend a lot of time with him in the receiver room. Those are the guys you cheer for a little bit more. You hope they have success because they deserve it because of how hard they work and the type of man he is.

Jefferson found supreme success through the first two years of his career, being named to the Pro Bowl twice and earning second-team All Pro honors both seasons. Thus far this year, Jefferson has amassed 28 catches for 393 yards and two receiving touchdowns, as well as the rushing touchdown he scored Sunday against the Saints.

Jefferson Frustrated With Vikings’ Offense During Two Slow Weeks

Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

GettyWide receiver Justin Jefferson of the Minnesota Vikings reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first quarter of a game at U.S. Bank Stadium on December 9, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Jefferson began the 2022 campaign with a nine-catch performance against the Packers, during which he gained 184 yards and scored two touchdowns. But over the next two games, Jefferson produced a total of just nine catches for 62 yards and failed to find the end zone, per Pro Football Reference.

Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell sat down with Jefferson for what Alec Lewis of The Athletic described as a “lengthy convo” about the receiver’s struggles and how they related to decisions the team was making on offense.

“It is frustrating for sure. Just being the type of player that I am, double- and triple-teams are going to come” Jefferson told reporters following the Vikings’ win over the Detroit Lions on September 25. “That is the luxury of having Adam [Thielen] and K.J. [Osborn] on the other side. Even when they want to double-team me, I know that somebody will be open.”

Jefferson took out his frustrations on the Saints’ defense this week and will now focus his attention on the Chicago Bears, who the Vikings host on Sunday, October 9, at 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

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