Justin Jefferson has something to say for those who think they’ll catch him slacking. In what some feared would be a sophomoric slump for the 22-year-old superstar, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson overcame doubters of his talent once again this season.
“I heard all the people saying, ‘the sophomore slump,’ and ‘him not being able to do it again”. Jefferson said in January 6 press conference, referring to his 1,400-yard rookie season. “I listen to all of that, and I just use it as fuel for my game.”
Despite having one more game on the NFL’s 18-week schedule this season, Jefferson has already surpassed all of his rookie records. With 1,509 receiving yards, 103 receptions, and nine receiving touchdowns through 16 games. Jefferson, who was named to his second Pro Bowl and is in contention for his second All-Pro selection, is quickly becoming a fan favorite in the NFL.
Jefferson has been a target of national media scrutiny, with many interpreting any signs of dissatisfaction as a desire to leave the team. He has been embroiled in a tumultuous two seasons in Minnesota, where the Vikings have yet to post a winning record. Jefferson talked about his future with the team, which could see a lot of changes this offseason.
Jefferson was asked how frustrating it is to miss the playoffs after a long battle for a wild card spot in a press conference ahead of Minnesota’s final game of the season. A meaningless home matchup with the Chicago Bears where starters are expected to play. “Absolutely, We should be in the playoffs right now, based on the games we lost. We should have one of the league’s best records,” Jefferson predicted.
“All we did was shoot ourselves in the foot”. We only hurt ourselves by not finishing the game, not coming out with energy, and other minor infractions that did not put us on the scoreboard, and that’s the difficult part. Despite calls for changes at head coach, general manager, and quarterback echoing throughout the fan base this offseason, Jefferson insisted he’s only focused on what he can control.