In an unprecedented turn of events in his career, Justin Jefferson finds himself sidelined for a month due to a lingering hamstring injury, placing him on the injured reserve list. The Minnesota Vikings’ star wide receiver addressed the uncertainty surrounding his return in a press briefing on Thursday, adopting a tone that oscillated between vagueness and cautious optimism.
Describing his situation as “day-to-day,” Jefferson acknowledged the challenge of pinpointing an exact return date at this moment. He commended the training staff for their exceptional care, ensuring he received the necessary treatments and rehabilitation to aid his recovery. Dealing with hamstring injuries demands a delicate approach, requiring both caution and patience, aspects Jefferson has conscientiously observed thus far.
Fortunately for the Vikings, they have managed to secure victories in Jefferson’s absence, boasting a 5-4 record as they approach a game against the Saints on Sunday. Despite the team’s success, Jefferson remains focused on his rehabilitation, acknowledging that hamstring injuries can linger if not treated properly. While he doesn’t feel pressured to rush back onto the field, the fact that the Vikings have initiated a 21-day practice window for his potential return keeps him in the conversation.
Jefferson emphasized the importance of strengthening his hamstring and closely monitoring his body’s response. While the progress has been positive, he cautioned against expecting an immediate return. Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell indicated that Jefferson is unlikely to play on Sunday, reinforcing the notion of a gradual and careful comeback.
Recognizing the team’s resilience in his absence, Jefferson spoke highly of rookie Jordan Addison, who has admirably filled his role. Addison’s impressive performance with 28 receptions, 349 yards, and five touchdowns over the last five games has been noteworthy. However, the Vikings initially drafted Addison with the intention of him complementing Jefferson rather than assuming the lead pass-catching role.
Jefferson expressed optimism about reuniting with Addison soon, emphasizing the positive impact it could have, especially in light of the recent season-ending Achilles injury to starting quarterback Kirk Cousins. Until that reunion occurs, the keyword remains “patience” as the Vikings navigate through this challenging period.