Vikings get promising news on WR Justin Jefferson after he's taken to hospital with chest injury

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) makes a catch as Las Vegas Raiders safety Marcus Epps (1) defends during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher) (John Locher, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

LAS VEGAS – Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson was taken to a hospital after being hit in the chest during Minnesota's 3-0 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday, but he returned to Allegiant Stadium and then flew home with the team.

“Feel pretty encouraged about the early news on Justin,” coach Kevin O'Connell said. “We'll have to see on a short week how's able to turn over from this.”

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Minnesota plays at Cincinnati on Saturday.

O'Connell said Jefferson got X-rays to make sure there wasn't internal damage after he was injured in the second quarter.

“I thought the doctors did a great job of doing what they should in the moment, which is making sure we avoid some potentially serious things,” O'Connell said. “From what I've been told, it looks like we avoided any significant thing there.”

Jefferson, the 2022 AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year, took a shot from safety Marcus Epps while going high to catch a 15-yard pass. There was no flag for hitting a defenseless receiver.

This was Jefferson’s first game back after missing the previous seven games because of a hamstring injury.

O'Connell wouldn't address whether a penalty should've been called but said he was "incredibly disappointed for (Jefferson) just knowing how much it meant to him to get back out on the field. You could see it on the play it happened on, a high throw over the middle, a critical third-down play, he goes and makes the play.

“That's Justin Jefferson right there.”

Jefferson made some team history before going out. He caught a 12-yard pass that moved him past Randy Moss for the most receiving yards by a Vikings player in his first four seasons. Moss had 5,396 yards from 1998-2001, and Jefferson is at 5,423.



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