Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson’s prolific rookie campaign hasn’t been entirely sweet. The pandemic season has dealt its share of buzzkills.
Jefferson became the third 21-year-old wide receiver to earn Pro Bowl recognition, joining only Amari Cooper (2015) and Randy Moss (1998), last week — a consolation to playing in the game which has been canceled this season.
While earning Pro Bowl honors was a goal for Jefferson, the climb there didn’t carry the same acclaim many first-year players hope for. Players this season, under COVID-19 protocols, are not allowed to exchange jerseys after the game, often a right of passage from veterans to rising stars.
However, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees made the best of a situation and put together a special Christmas gift for Jefferson, a Louisiana native who grew up watching Brees, that exceeds a simple jersey exchange.
Die-hard Vikings fan? Follow the Heavy on Vikings Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content out of Skol Nation!
Brees Signs Jersey for Jefferson With Special Message
Brees sent Jefferson a jersey of his from Friday’s Christmas Day game between the Saints and the Vikings with a message written in sharpie.
“You are the next generation of great ones! Keep ballin’! More importantly, keep inspiring,” Brees wrote.
Looks like Saints QB Drew Brees gave his jersey from yesterday to Vikings rookie WR (and LSU product) Justin Jefferson.
“You are the next generation of great ones! Keep ballin’! More importantly keep inspiring!” pic.twitter.com/TId7Er9ICI
— Amie Just (@Amie_Just) December 26, 2020
Jefferson Inspiring Fans and Saints Alike
Jefferson has done plenty to inspire not only fans but also his fellow NFLers.
Totaling 1,256 receiving yards and seven touchdowns through 15 games and 13 starts, Jefferson is one of four wide receivers who posted 1,200-plus receiving yards and seven TDs in their rookie season.
With one game to go, Jefferson has already broken the Vikings’ rookie receptions record (79) and is threatening to break Moss’ franchise record for receiving yards (1,313) and Anquan Boldin’s league record for 1,377 receiving yards as a rookie.
Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan was also willing to give Jefferson some love on Christmas despite the burgeoning rivalry between the two teams.
— JJETS✈️ (@JJettas2) December 26, 2020
Jefferson has made a case for Offensive Rookie of the Year alongside Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert, who broke the rookie record for most touchdown passes (28) in a season last week. Jefferson could become the seventh Viking to win the award — the last being Percy Harvin in 2009.
Despite not having the opportunity to play in the first Pro Bowl of his career, Jefferson has already deservingly grown a reputation in the league.
After Jefferson caught nine passes for 121 yards and a touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars to become the fifth rookie wide receiver since 1970 to surpass 1,000 receiving yards in their first 12 career games, Michael Thomas said “I have seen enough… [Justin Jefferson] is Rookie of the Year.”
He has one more game to add to his rookie resume which will likely be a point of emphasis in the Vikings’ Week 17 meeting with the Detroit Lions.
- Ex-CFL Trick Shot Kicker Tells Vikings: ‘I Will Fly to Minnesota Tomorrow’
- Vikings’ Justin Jefferson Causing ‘Rift’ in Eagles Locker Room: Report
- Ex-Vikings Coach Strikes Down Justin Jefferson-Randy Moss Debate
- Buccaneers Star Mocks Vikings Kicker Dan Bailey
- NFL Insider Insinuates Vikings’ ‘Betrayal’ of Stefon Diggs
- Titans’ Derrick Henry Sends Strong Message on Vikings’ Dalvin Cook
- 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.