The Vikings have placed 4 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, including rookie WR Justin Jefferson. Placement on the list means that a player has either tested positive or been in close contact with an infected person -- and thus faces mandatory quarantine. Teams are not allowed to disclose which category fits a player put on the list. Either way, this situation shouldn't affect Jefferson's availability for the season. We'll certainly keep an eye on the wideout, though, if it's revealed he contracted the virus.
Vikings WR Justin Jefferson said he's "so excited" about new HC Kevin O'Connell's offense. "Our offensive style, it's not a run-first offense anymore," Jefferson said. "Just us being able to put different people in different positions and distribute the ball, really." We actually wouldn't describe last year's Vikings as "run first" considering they ranked 11th in pass attempts. But they finished 18th in situation-neutral pass rate, so there's room for at least a moderate climb in passing volume this season. Jefferson is a locked-in top 3 fantasy WR.
Former Rams OC and new Vikings HC Kevin O'Connell wants to use WR Justin Jefferson in a role similar to the one Cooper Kupp played last year. “The one thing about Cooper Kupp this past season is he lined up in a lot of different spots. It was hard for defenses to really know where he was," O'Connell said. "I see that with Justin. I see an incredible, incredible skillset, but I also see a player we can move around. We can make it hard for defenses to know where he’s going to be. He doesn’t have to line up in the same spot all the time. He doesn’t have to run the same type of routes all the time. He’s dynamic with the ball in his hands. He’s willing in the run game. This guy’s a special, special player." It's no surprise that O'Connell will make Jefferson the focal point of his passing game. But it's exciting to hear about a more diverse role -- especially considering the season Kupp just had.
The Vikings are expected to name Rams OC Kevin O'Connell their new HC, according to multiple reports. The move can't be made official until after the Super Bowl. The 36-year-old O'Connell was a 3rd-round pick of the Patriots back in 2008. He washed out of the league after just 5 seasons and took his first coaching job with the Browns in 2015 under OC John DeFilippo. O'Connell worked for HC Chip Kelly in San Francisco in 2016 before spending the next 3 seasons in Washington, earning the OC title in 2019. He's spent the past 2 seasons as Rams OC, although HC Sean McVay has called the plays.
Vikings WRs Justin Jefferson (ankle) and Adam Thielen (foot) aren't listed on the final injury report. Both guys got some time off in practice earlier this week but should be ready to play their usual roles vs. the Panthers on Sunday.
Vikings WRs Justin Jefferson (ankle) and Adam Thielen (foot) missed their 2nd straight practices on Thursday. We haven't heard any concern about their availability for this weekend's game vs. the Panthers, but make sure to check back tomorrow afternoon for another update.
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