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Vikings WR Justin Jefferson ‘down’ as team awaits test results

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson is hurting in more ways than one.

Head coach Kevin O’Connell said on Monday the Vikings are in a holding pattern awaiting MRI test results to determine the severity of a hamstring injury that forced Jefferson out of Minnesota’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

O’Connell said Jefferson, who has 36 receptions for 571 yards and three touchdowns after five games in 2023, is “down” at the moment because of his competitive nature.

“We’re going to do what’s best for Justin and make sure we give him the treatment and plan that is a big picture positive for him,” O’Connell said.

The NFL’s third-leading receiver this season behind Tyreek Hill of the Dolphins and Puka Nacua of the Rams has never missed a game in his career.

O’Connell said the Vikings plan to solicit multiple opinions on treatment and a timeline to return, which will delay the relay of information from the team on the extent of the injury.

“There will probably be a couple different opinions on it. We’ve got to get the MRI of it and take look and find out exactly what it is, where it is, if there’s any other factors that go into it and determine what the best decision for him to get him back to 100 percent as fast as possible,” O’Connell said. “He’s down today. He obviously is one of the most ultra-competitors I’ve ever met, and shoot, he was trying to go back in the game as it was (Sunday).

“So we’re going to have to medically make a good decision and help kind of almost protect him from himself a little bit in a way where we’ve got to take care of him and get him back to 100 percent.”

Rookie first-round pick Jordan Addison is likely to assume a larger role in the offense with Jefferson on the shelf.

Addison had six receptions for 64 yards and one touchdown against the Chiefs and has 19 receptions for 249 yards this season. Tight end T.J. Hockenson is second on the team in receptions (30-254-2).

Quarterback Kirk Cousins said there’s an obvious concern without Jefferson in the offense but voiced a positive outlook for Addison this week and beyond.

“Jordan’s the real deal,” Cousins said. “We hit on that draft pick. He’s a great player, he’s the real deal.”

–Field Level Media

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