Justin Jefferson is on the COVID-19 reserve list.
Mike Zimmer and Minnesota Vikings, already gearing for a run at the NFC North title after replacing Stefon Diggs with former LSU star wide receiver Justin Jefferson, were dealt a huge helping of bad news that relates to both Jefferson and three other members of their expansive 2020 draft class.
Jefferson, in addition to offensive tackle Blake Brandel, offensive guard Tyler Higby, and safety Brian Cole II, have been placed on the Vikings’ reserve/COVID-19 list. Per the NFL’s regulations, the club is not allowed to comment on if the four rookies have tested positive for COVID-19 or are quarantining as a preventative measure.
Jefferson’s presence on this list does not necessarily mean that he has COVID-19. He either has the virus or has been quarantined after associating with someone that tested positive for the virus.
Justin Jefferson will have a vital role in Minnesota’s offense this year.
It was Jefferson, not Ja’Marr Chase, who led an LSU team that won a national championship in receptions last year, as his 111 catches, 1,540 yards, and 18 touchdowns proved that Joe Burrow had as much confidence in him as any receiver on that team. With Diggs now a Buffalo Bill, Jefferson was expected to take ownership of the No. 2 wide receiver role next to Adam Thielen.
If the worst-case scenario, unfortunately, becomes reality and Jefferson is forced to stay on this list for the immediate future, look for Olabisi Johnson and free-agent signing Tajae Sharpe to compete for the WR2 spot in his absence.
Jefferson is the X-factor that will determine if Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota passing game can still be as effective as they were last year despite losing Diggs and offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski. Through no fault of his own, Jefferson’s tenure in Minnesota has gotten off to a shaky start.