Skip to main content

Justin Jefferson stumps for Kirk Cousins' return in 2024 amid Vikings' QB troubles

Justin Jefferson has experienced life without Kirk Cousins, and the star receiver doesn't much care for it.

The Minnesota Vikings have lost four of their past five games to tumble out of a playoff spot.

Since Cousins went down with a torn Achilles in Week 8 against Green Bay, the Vikes have cycled through QBs. Rookie Jaren Hall made the first start but lasted just 11 snaps. Then came the Josh Dobbs experience, which soared early before crashing and burning. Then it was Nick Mullens, who puts the high in high-variance-QB-play, making some big plays but also turning the pigskin over at an exorbitant rate (six INTs in two tilts).

Now, it's back to Hall for a pivotal Week 17 game against the Packers.

Please enable Javascript to view this content

"It's definitely tough without him being there," Jefferson said on Wednesday of Cousins, via the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "His leadership. His knowledge of the game. His awareness. There's definitely something missing not having that main piece out there on the table."

If Cousins doesn't go down with a season-ending injury, it's easy to see the Vikings sitting better than a 30% chance to make the playoffs, per Next Gen Stats, with two weeks to go. The only team with fewer wins than the Vikings since Week 11 (1) is the Washington Commanders, who went 0-5 over that stretch.

Cousins was playing perhaps the best football of his career before the injury, thriving in Kevin O'Connell's system, even when Jefferson was out of the lineup. The QB was on pace to set career highs in yards and TDs.

The Vikings' QB roulette since Cousins went down shows how valuable he is.

"I think it goes to show the world the type of player Kirk is," Jefferson said. "This is a tough league. Not everybody is meant for this job. It's tough not having No. 8 out there."

With Cousins headed toward free agency, his 2023 play, coupled with the injury, makes the QB's future fascinating. Will the Vikings move on? Will they try to bring him back? Might it be cheaper, given the serious injury Cousin is rehabbing?

The front office doesn't need to seek out Jefferson for his opinion. They already know how he feels.

"I definitely will always give that extra word for Kirko," Jefferson said before adding: "I feel like I really don't have to voice my opinion that much. Just look at his play before he went down."

The Vikings cling to their playoff hopes ahead of Sunday's prime-time tilt against the rival Packers. A win pushes their chances to 49%, while a loss plummets them to 4%, per NGS.

Related Content