Purple Headlines of the Week: Jefferson Returns, Week 15 Game Is Set, a QB Change Coming?

NFL: NFC Wild Card Round-New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings are in the middle of their bye week, but there was still plenty of news from this past week.

Not only did the Vikings activate their star receiver from IR, but they now have an official schedule for Week 15 and could be in the midst of a change at the most important position on the field. Here is a look at all the purple headlines from the bye.

Vikings Activate Justin Jefferson from IR

Vikings Questions
Dec 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) runs after a catch against the New York Giants during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

At long last, the Vikings have their star wide receiver back. Minnesota activated Justin Jefferson from IR on Tuesday, meaning he is set to make his return for Week 14 against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Jefferson has missed seven consecutive games because of a hamstring injury, but somehow, Minnesota has navigated the loss to the tune of a 5-2 record during those games. Now, with the Vikings needing another hot stretch to conclude their season and get into the playoffs, they have their star back in the mix.

Prior to the injury, Jefferson was on an absolute tear to begin the season. Over five games, he caught 36 passes for 571 yards and 3 TDs despite only having 3 receptions for 28 yards in Week 5 against the Chiefs before getting hurt.

Vikings Will Be Part of Saturday Tripleheader in Week 15

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Minnesota Vikings
Sep 24, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell takes the field before the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

When the 2023 NFL schedule was released, the Vikings had a pair of games listed as TBD in terms of a game date/time. One of them was their Week 15 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals.

This week, the NFL determined that Cincinnati and Minnesota will play on Saturday, December 16th as part of a tripleheader during the day. The Vikings game kicks off at 12 PM Central. They are joined by the Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts at 3:30 PM Central as well as the Denver Broncos and Detroit Lions at 7:15 PM Central.

Vikings fans will recall that this is the same Week 15 Saturday tripleheader that resulted in Minnesota’s historic comeback victory over the Indianapolis Colts. After falling down 33-0 at halftime, the Vikings stormed back to force overtime before ultimately winning the game by a score of 39-36.

QB Change in Minnesota?

Purple Headlines
Nov 27, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joshua Dobbs (15) warms up before the game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Josh Dobbs experiment got off to a roaring start when he came in to the Vikings’ Week 9 game against the Atlanta Falcons. He led a comeback victory in that game while executing a flawless Week 10 performance against the Saints.

However, things have gone downhill in a hurry. Dobbs threw 4 interceptions against the Bears last week, and after the game, Kevin O’Connell had a chance to instill confidence in the starter. However, he opened up the possibility of a QB change.

“We’re going to take a look. Really evaluate inventory of plays now we have of Josh,” O’Connell told reporters afterwards. “We got healthy. We got Jaren back available to us, and then Nick Mullens is available as well.”

We’ll soon see if Week 14 brings a fourth starting QB for the Vikings this season.

In Case You Missed It…

Oct 21, 2023; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) celebrates a touchdown against the Army Black Knights during the first half at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

As usual, we have an extra list of reading material for the especially studious Vikings fans. Happy reading!

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.