Vikings Make Final Call on Justin Jefferson’s Cryptic Injury

Justin Jefferson

Getty The Vikings are considering the "big picture" and Justin Jefferson's long-term health after he suffered a hamstring injury in Week 5 against the Chiefs.

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson‘s landing on the Wednesday injury report took the league by surprise after the star’s spotless bill of health through 10 weeks this season.

The third-year receiver asserted himself as the NFL’s premier wide receiver by catching 10 passes for a career-high 193 receiving yards and a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills just three days earlier. His incredible one-handed catch has already been immortalized in the Pro Football Hall of Fame with all eyes on him through the week.

Limited in practice with a toe injury on Wednesday’s injury report, there were questions of whether Jefferson sustained the injury against the Bills and whether he would be ready for Week 11’s matchup with the Dallas Cowboys. Toe injuries can also be incredibly fickle, especially for pass catchers who stress their toes by cutting in and out of their routes.

Vikings fans got good news on Friday, with Jefferson seen at practice in “good spirits,” NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported. Pelissero later reported that Jefferson is off the injury report and “good to go” Sunday against the Cowboys, according to coach Kevin O’Connell.

 Christian Darrisaw Makes Quick Recovery, 2 Vikings Starters Out for Cowboys

The Vikings’ final injury report ahead of Week 11’s showdown with Dallas is a bit of a mixed bag.

Starting left tackle Christian Darrisaw, who has been playing at an All-Pro caliber in only his second season as a pro, was in concussion protocol after being knocked out of the Bills game. He’s improved enough throughout the week that he was not listed on the final injury report and is expected to be a full go for Sunday — a huge boon to Minnesota’s offensive front that will have to fend off a feisty Cowboys pass rush headed by Defensive Most Valuable Player frontrunner Micah Parsons. Dallas leads the league with 35.0 sacks in nine games this season, per Pro Football Reference.

But on the other hand, Minnesota’s defense will be missing some weapons

Dalvin Tomlinson was ruled out for a third straight game as the defensive tackle is recovering from a calf injury. Rookie cornerback Akayleb Evans started last week in place of Cameron Dantzler, who is on injured reserve, but suffered a concussion and is ruled out this week.

Za’Darius Smith, who leads the league with 55 pressures this season, is also questionable with a knee injury.

Vikings’ Justin Jefferson Has a Chance to Make History vs. Cowboys

Jefferson’s ceiling for single-game receiving yards has yet to see his limit after his 193-yard performance in Buffalo last week. He’s in line to break the record for most receiving yards by a player in their first three seasons this week against the Cowboys after potentially just 10 games into his third year.

Randy Moss currently holds the record with 4,163 receiving yards in 48 games played through his first three seasons. Jefferson’s fellow LSU alumnus Odell Beckham Jr. is behind Moss with 4,122 receiving yards in 43 games from 2014 to 2016. Jefferson is nipping at their heels with 4,076 receiving yards through his first 42 career games. He needs 88 yards on Sunday to surpass Moss in his 43rd career game.

Jefferson, shooting for 2,000 receiving yards this season, is on track for his goal, averaging 117.8 yards per game. He’ll reach 2,002 yards on that average if he plays all 17 games this season.

Read More