Justin Jefferson may have checked in to a hospital Sunday, but he never checked out of the Minnesota Vikings’ game against the Las Vegas Raiders.
Jefferson, in his first game after seven weeks dealing with a hamstring injury, had an early exit against the Raiders due to a chest injury.
Jefferson was hurt on a big hit when he leaped to catch a pass from Josh Dobbs.
As a precaution, the Vikings got Jefferson in an ambulance to a hospital.
While Jefferson wasn’t going to get back on the field to help his teammates win, he never stopped supporting them.
The reigning Offensive Player of the Year admitted he was “yelling” and “screaming” while on his way to the hospital in the ambulance as well as in the emergency room.
“The people that was really hurt, they were probably annoyed by me,” Jefferson told reporters Wednesday. “But that was the first time I was in an ambulance and ER, so it was definitely an experience for me that I don’t want again.”
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Vikings fans were stunned Jefferson came back after weeks on injured reserve only to play less than half a game before needing to be looked at by medical staff.
But Jefferson said he’ll be active for Saturday’s game.
Head coach Kevin O’Connell previously called his star wide receiver day to day, but Jefferson isn’t going to miss another game as the Vikings remain in playoff contention.
Jefferson will also need to build some chemistry with a new quarterback this week. Dobbs has been benched in favor of Nick Mullens, who was Kirk Cousins’ initial backup before Mullens injured his back.
Mullens gets the start in Week 15 against the Cincinnati Bengals, and Jefferson will be going head-to-head against former LSU Tigers teammate Ja’Marr Chase.
The Vikings beat the Raiders 3-0 behind Mullens’ only scoring drive of the game. The Bengals have been rolling despite Joe Burrow’s injury. Rookie quarterback Jake Browning has found great chemistry with Chase, leading the offense to 34 points in back-to-back games.
It’s a huge road game for the Vikings, and Jefferson is ready to help Mullen get his sixth career win as a starter.