The Minnesota Vikings are sitting at a crossroads with a 1-4 record and star wide receiver Justin Jefferson (hamstring) headed to injured reserve for at least the next four weeks. Jefferson strained his hamstring during a 27-20 home loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 5, and the team placed him on IR two days later, which makes him ineligible to return until at least Week 10.
Sportsbooks already considered the Vikings to be longshots to repeat as NFC North champions, and the team also had positive odds to make the NFL playoffs. Those odds are lengthening across the board following Jefferson’s injury.
Latest Minnesota Vikings odds
- Minnesota Vikings current season win total
- Minnesota Vikings to make the playoffs
- Minnesota Vikings to win the NFC North
- Minnesota Vikings to win the NFC
- Minnesota Vikings to win the Super Bowl
Futures odds after Jefferson injury
Jefferson is the reigning Offensive Player of the Year and was leading the NFL in receiving yards through three weeks this season, so replacing his production will not be easy.
The Vikings had the third-longest odds to win the NFC North prior to the decision to place Jefferson on injured reserve. Now those odds have shifted from +1000 to . Speaking more on Jefferson, below are his latest odds for certain individual accomplishments:
- Justin Jefferson to win NFL MVP
- Justin Jefferson to have the most receiving yards in the league
- Justin Jefferson to have the most receiving TDs in the league
Justin Jefferson’s Offensive Player of the Year odds movement
Jefferson entered the season as the favorite to repeat as Offensive Player of the Year. Prior to his injury, he was trailing Christian McCaffrey and Tyreek Hill in the awards odds.
|Player||Current Odds||Sept. 25||Opening Odds|
Who will step up at WR for the Vikings?
Rookie Jordan Addison should see a significant increase in playing time with Jefferson out over Minnesota’s next four games against the Bears, 49ers, Packers, and Falcons. Addison would start opposite K.J. Osborn, who led Vikings receivers with 64 snaps in Week 5.
Brandon Powell played 22 snaps and caught four of six targets for 43 yards in a comeback bid against the Chiefs. The Vikings recently elevated former first-round pick N’Keal Harry from their practice squad to play on special teams, and Harry could see more snaps as a wide receiver.
The Vikings could also use more two-tight-end sets with Josh Oliver and T.J. Hockenson lining up in the formation.
Upcoming Minnesota Vikings games
The Vikings are on the road for three of the four games Jefferson will definitely miss. Their home game in that stretch comes on Monday night, Oct. 23, against the San Francisco 49ers, the consensus Super Bowl favorites.
Jefferson could return in Week 10 when the Vikings host the New Orleans Saints. Minnesota will have four more division games after Week 10, including two against the division-leading Detroit Lions over the final three weeks of the season. The Vikings then host the Green Bay Packers in a Sunday Night Football matchup in Week 17. Those games could all prove pivotal in the Vikings’ attempt to push for a playoff berth.
What does the future hold for the Vikings?
Kirk Cousins is playing on a one-year extension to the two-year extension he signed with the Vikings in 2020. Cousins could enter free agency after this season, and even if he leaves, the Vikings would take a $28.5 million cap hit from the quarterback’s contract. There is a chance Minnesota’s front office decides to trade Cousins ahead of the Oct. 31 deadline.
The next few weeks will prove crucial for Minnesota’s direction this season and beyond, as GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah will have to decide whether his team can compete for another playoff berth or should rebuild with plans to draft a quarterback this offseason.