Justin Jefferson Officially Will Play in Week 15

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 Minnesota Vikings are just over an hour away from kicking things off against the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday afternoon.

Heading into the game, Minnesota is dealing with a number of injuries on the offensive side of the ball, which led them to elevate multiple players from the practice squad on Friday. Just ahead of kickoff, the Vikings have announced that seven players will be inactive for this game against the Bengals, but Justin Jefferson is not amongst them. The star receiver will indeed suit up for Minnesota today.

Justin Jefferson Officially Will Play on Saturday

Justin Jefferson
Dec 10, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) warms up before a game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Here is a look at the full Vikings inactive list for Saturday:

  • RB Alexander Mattison
  • S Lewis Cine
  • QB Josh Dobbs
  • TE Nick Muse
  • IOL Chris Reed
  • RT Brian O’Neill
  • WR Jalen Nailor

Most notably, of course, is the fact that both Mattison and O’Neill will be out on Saturday as they recover from ankle injuries suffered last weekend.

Mattison’s ankle injury comes right as he was beginning to find his footing as the Vikings lead running back. Over the past three games, he has recorded 38 carries for 199 rushing yards, a clip of over five yards per carry.

Nov 19, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison (2) before the game against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Without their starting RB available, the Vikings will rely on Ty Chandler to be the leader in the backfield this weekend. Chandler has recorded 49 carries for 201 yards and a single touchdown this season while also adding 13 receptions for 90 yards in the passing game.

O’Neill’s absence with his own ankle injury also provides some issues for Minnesota in pass protection. The Vikings are set to face off with a Bengals defense that features Trey Hendrickson, who has equaled Danielle Hunter’s 13.5 sacks through the first 14 weeks of the season.

Without O’Neill in the lineup, it seems that David Quessenberry will be in line to start on Saturday. He came into Week 14’s game at the right tackle spot when O’Neill initially suffered his ankle injury. Quessenberry also made a start at left tackle during Week 9 in relief of Christian Darrisaw.

Vikings Offense
Feb 3, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Minnesota Vikings tackle Brian O’Neill (75) during NFC practice for the Pro Bowl at Las Vegas Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As for Jefferson, it appears he is healthy from the chest injury that knocked him out of last weekend’s game in the second quarter. He recorded a pair of receptions for 27 yards before the injury, and hopefully, he is able to get back to his old self this weekend.

Kickoff between the Bengals and Vikings is set for 12 PM Central.

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.