Vikings Star WR Justin Jefferson Pushes Back on His Return - Sport News

Vikings Star WR Justin Jefferson Pushes Back on His Return

Justin Jefferson‘s return to practice on Thursday, November 9 after straining his right hamstring four weeks ago made national headlines as the Minnesota Vikings star nears his return to action.

Justin Jefferson

But to Jefferson, he never left. His presence has always been there.

Asked how it felt to come back from the injured reserve list, Jefferson pushed back against the notion that he was ever gone.

“It’s not really getting back,” Jefferson said. “I still been with the team. The support is always going to be there. I’m always going to be on the sidelines supporting my teammates.

“I’m just happy to be that leader on the team where you can’t say I’m just sitting at home and worrying about getting back,” Jefferson added.” I want to be there supporting my teammates and being there hands-on.

Jefferson made it clear that he will not rush to get back on the field until he is 100%, his support of his teammates in the meantime is evident as the Vikings have gone 4-0 in his absence.

He was seen giving rousing encouragement to new quarterback Josh Dobbs during the Vikings’ improbably comeback over the Atlanta Falcons in Week 9.

While Jefferson’s impact isn’t tangible for the fantasy football community, his presence does make a difference to the team.

Players want to play for teammates who care like Jefferson. Players want to play for coaches who care like Kevin O’Connell. That’s culture.

Jefferson is unlikely to play in a Wee 10 matchup against the New Orleans Saints, but his return to practice is another encouraging sign for a Vikings team that is pushing for the postseason despite an unfortunate start and slew of injuries.

Vikings WR Justin Jefferson Addresses His Return From Injury

Justin Jefferson

An ultra-competitor, Jefferson admitted he felt he would miss time when he slipped running a route and strained his hamstring during an October 8 matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs.

He seemed respectful of the plan the Vikings medical staff have laid out for him, saying he won’t rush himself back until he’s told his hamstring is 100% healthy.

“It’s just all about how I’m feeling and how strong the hamstring is,” Jefferson said, per the Star Tribune. “The hamstring is a difficult injury just because it lingers, and it comes back from time to time if you don’t put the right treatment into it.

“So the guys on the rest of the coaching staff in this building know my worth on the field, and they want me 100 percent — as I do, as well. I don’t want to go out there 80, 90 percent and have the chance of hurting it again. It’s just day-to-day, like I said, and when that time comes, I’ll definitely be ready to step out on that field.”

Vikings’ Jordan Addison Stepping Up in Justin Jefferson’s Stead

Jordan Addison

A positive that’s come from Jefferson’s absence from the playing field is the emergence of rookie wide receiver Jordan Addison.

Addison has 41 receptions for 534 yards receiving and 7 touchdowns, tied for second-most in the NFL, through nine weeks this season. He’s scored four of his touchdowns in the past four weeks with Jefferson out — an impressive feat considering the added attention Addison has faced from opponents’ No. 1 corners in that span.

Addison credited Jeffeson for teaching him to trust in his legs and his route-running this season, which paid dividends as Addison became the first Vikings rookie receiver to score a touchdown in four consecutive games since Randy Moss.

“One thing he’s taught me is use my legs. The releases, transitioning out of breaks, be confident and trust my legs can get me out of anything,” Addison said on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football.”

 

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