Justin Jefferson Owns Another NFL Record

Grading the Vikings Position Groups: Offense
Dec 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Justin Jefferson has been off to one of the most prolific starts to his career in NFL history.

The Vikings star wide receiver set yet another NFL record in the first quarter of Minnesota’s Week 16 game against the Detroit Lions by catching an eight-yard pass from QB Nick Mullens.

Justin Jefferson Owns Another NFL Record

Justin Jefferson
Oct 1, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) signs his jersey after the game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

By catching that pass, Jefferson passed Michael Thomas for the most receiving yards by a player through their first four NFL seasons. From 2016-19, Thomas recorded 5512 receiving yards, and now, Minnesota’s superstar is up to 5515 with that catch.

This record belongs to Jefferson despite the fact that he missed seven games from Weeks 6-12 because of a hamstring injury. Then, he came back in Week 14 against the Las Vegas Raiders, but he came out of that game in the second quarter because of a chest injury.

Remarkably, it has taken Jefferson just 58 games to get to this mark. The only player in the top 10 with fewer games played is Anquan Boldin, who recorded recorded 4605 yards in 55 games during his first four seasons from 2003-06.

Sep 12, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) runs the ball in overtime against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings will need Jefferson to continue his superstar ways if they are going to sneak their way into a second consecutive NFC North title.

Minnesota needs to win their final three games, and Detroit will have to lose their final three in order for that to happen. The Lions and Vikings meet in Weeks 16 and 18 while Detroit travels to Dallas next weekend, and Minnesota plays host to Green Bay.

Oct 8, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s to hoping there are many receiving yards in Jefferson’s future to conclude this season and moving into the future.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.