In the second quarter of the Minnesota Vikings matchup against the Carolina Panthers, QB Kirk Cousins threw a screen pass to superstar wide receiver Justin Jefferson. He was de-cleated on the play and was visibly shaken as he rose from the ground. What do we know, and what would the fantasy impact be if his injury lingers?
Justin Jefferson Injury Update
The play in question was particularly violent. The defender jumped the screen and leveled Jefferson.
— David J. Chao – ProFootballDoc (@ProFootballDoc) October 1, 2023
Jefferson returned to the field and appeared okay. However, this isn’t the first injury scare this season for arguably the best receiver in the NFL. He was helped off the field against the Los Angeles Chargers, but that was a simple cramp.
Jefferson returned after his most recent shake-up and, late in the second quarter, added an 18-yard reception along the left sideline as Minnesota tried battling for points before the end of the half.
But then Cousins threw another interception, leading to a Carolina field goal right before the first half expired.
Jefferson has five catches for 55 yards and a touchdown on seven targets. Through three games, his 458 yards rank first in the NFL. He’s also third in receptions and targets. His 12 “big” plays are five more than the next-closest wide receiver.
Although he’ll certainly not keep up his torrent 152-yard pace, which would absolutely shatter the single-season receiving record, Jefferson has once again set himself up nicely early in the season to contend for the record in January, even if the Vikings aren’t contending for anything but a top pick themselves.
Jefferson has yet to receive a long-term deal with Minnesota. As one of the best players in the NFL and more than a few receivers who will command a large payday coming up, it’s peculiar to see such a talent not get a deal done, especially as one of the few core talents left on the roster.