Vikings’ Jordan Addison and 49ers’ Charvarius Ward Engage in Tug-of-War on MNF

Charvarius Ward and Jordan Addison ended up with the most widely discussed battle of MNF. A look at the 49ers'/Vikings' stars epic battle for the ball.

Likely not on NFL fans’ bingo cards ahead of the San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings Monday Night Football Week 7 contest: Jordan Addison and Charvarius Ward would have a solo battle for possession of the football.

Most would’ve thought Kirk Cousins versus Nick Bosa or Brock Purdy versus Danielle Hunter would top the list of individual battles to watch. But Addison and Ward snatched that spotlight, literally.

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Both Charvarius Ward and Jordan Addison Engage in Tug-of-War for Football…Twice

Their first battle for the football began during the Vikings’ first possession.

Addison, with Ward playing up to the rookie at the line of scrimmage, tried to position himself with the feisty veteran attached to his hip. With Ward having his hands first on the 2023 first-rounder’s back, the veteran immediately read the pass and managed to wrestle away the football.

Former NFL safety Darius Butler pointed out how a veteran like Ward wasn’t going to be fooled by the route Addison ran.

“I say just a bad rep by me,” said Addison after the game. “Good job by the defender but after that play all I was thinking was I have to kill the rest of the game.”

But Addison redeemed himself immediately in a rare case of fighting for the pigskin with the same opponent.

With Ward as the coverage defender once again, the Super Bowl 54 winner with the Kansas City Chiefs was in a great position for his second takeaway of the night. Addison, however, made sure this battle would even itself at 1-1.

This time, it wasn’t a short slant Addison was running. He went deep for 60 yards in the epic run-after-catch sequence.

And, noted by Next Gen Stats, the Addison touchdown came with the 49ers running Cover 0 against the Vikes.

“Yeah, they bring a blitz there and they were very zeroed out in the back end and I had to
throw it earlier than I wanted to, and I didn’t really know where to lead him,” said Cousins after the game.

“I was like, I don’t want to overlead him and then what I did was I under-led him, and so then you allow the DB to undercut it. I thought it was getting picked, and Jordan — I still don’t quite know. I haven’t seen it in slow motion. I still don’t know how Jordan came away with it. Because they were kind of zeroed out, once he pulls away there is nobody left. So a big, big time play by him.”

Reactions Flourish for Vikings Rookie Receiver

That touchdown by the former USC star and past All-American at Pittsburgh placed the Vikes ahead 16-7 against the heavily favored 49ers.

But not only did Addison get the play of the night, he had fans sounding off on the most highlight-worthy touchdown of his young NFL career.

“America, meet Jordan Addison,” said NFL Network insider Tom Peliserro on X (formerly known as Twitter).

ESPN personality Mina Kimes went with a “giveth/taketh” themed post.

“Jordan Addison giveth, Jordan Addison taketh away!!!!!” Kimes posted.

NFL memes, meanwhile, used this gif of an actual tug-of-war to describe Addison versus Ward.

Ward ended his first half with three tackles and the aforementioned interception. Addison, meanwhile, positioned himself for nearly 100 yards by halftime — netting 95 yards on four receptions and the long touchdown scamper.

And that kind of performance drew the attention of many of his teammates, including guard Dalton Risner.

“That dude is a stud. I cannot believe he is a rookie,” said Risner. “The play before half when he took the ball and ran it, if you rewatch the tape my 320-pound body was sprinting as hard as I could. That is my dog. I like him, and I appreciate him.”

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