Vikings’ Kevin O’Connell confirms a huge boost as he makes honest admission ahead Chicago’s clash…

Coach Kevin O’Connell revealed that Justin Jefferson is edging closer to a return and actively participated in the Wednesday walk-through. Despite the urgency to win Monday night’s division game against the Chicago Bears, the Vikings prioritize ensuring Jefferson’s full recovery from a hamstring injury.

O’Connell emphasized the team’s commitment to Jefferson’s well-being, emphasizing the importance of maintaining strong principles in his return.

Scheduled for additional field work and Thursday morning practice, Jefferson’s status for the upcoming game remains uncertain. O’Connell expressed a cautious approach, emphasizing the need to be smart about Jefferson’s return, indicating it could happen before Monday night or even post-bye week.

The Vikings, currently 5-1 without Jefferson, aim to bounce back from a recent loss to Denver and secure a 3-0 division record against the Bears.

Quarterback Joshua Dobbs anticipates playing alongside Jefferson for the first time, highlighting the importance of their practice reps to synchronize their performance on the field.

Regarding the suspension of Broncos safety Kareem Jackson, who was penalized for a hit on Dobbs, O’Connell noted the lack of an explanation from the NFL on the officiating error. Despite the suspension, O’Connell expressed respect for Jackson as a player and emphasized moving forward.

O’Connell responded evasively when asked about the potential impact of Alexander Mattison’s recent fumble on his playing time. While not directly addressing the question, O’Connell stressed the importance of ball possession and the need for accountability.

Defensive coordinator Brian Flores received praise from O’Connell for his impactful contributions in turning around the Vikings’ defense. O’Connell expressed satisfaction with how Flores has elevated the performance of key players, including Danielle Hunter, D.J. Wonnum, and Harrison Smith.

In other team news, the Vikings added former Michigan receiver Daylen Baldwin to the practice squad. Baldwin, an undrafted free agent in 2022, spent most of his rookie season on Cleveland’s practice squad and appeared in one game, contributing two catches for 25 yards in a win over the Ravens.


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