Thursday, January 20, 2022

Justin Jefferson hasn’t talked to Mike Zimmer since making postgame comments on Vikings lacking energy

Justin Jefferson has been frustrated with the Minnesota Vikings and their slow starts, not hiding how he feels they have been a contributing factor toward Minnesota’s 7-8 record. The Vikings wide receiver isn’t backing down from them either, even if head coach Mike Zimmer believes Jefferson was just showing signs of frustration. 

“I agree with him, just being frustrated,” Jefferson said, via Chris Tomasson of the Twin Cities Pioneer Press. “I definitely don’t feel like we had enough energy that we should’ve had, especially going against a team like that (the Los Angeles Rams). We got to run off that energy, that high motor, that tempo. I felt like we were lacking that.”

Jefferson said he hasn’t talked to Zimmer about the comments, nor does he feel it will be necessary. 

“We didn’t really talk about that too much,” Jefferson said. “(Zimmer) knows me as a person, knows who I am, and know I won’t say anything to hurt the team or hurt anybody.”

Zimmer downplayed Jefferson’s frustration earlier in the week as the Vikings’ season is spiraling out of control. Minnesota fell out of the No. 7 seed in the conference with Sunday’s loss to Los Angeles, needing a win and a loss by the Philadelphia Eagles to emerge again as the No. 7 seed in the conference. 

This is water under the bridge, but that water is boiling. 

“I think Justin was just frustrated,” Zimmer said Tuesday, per Tomasson. “Hey, we’re all frustrated when we don’t win the game. We all get frustrated. We all say things 10 minutes after the game that we wish we wouldn’t have. … In my opinion, he just wants to win. And part of that is he wants to get the ball if he can. And I don’t think he’s calling out anybody. That’s not the type of person he is.”

Jefferson has 97 catches for 1,451 yards and nine touchdowns in 2021, ranking fifth in the league in receptions, second in receiving yards, and tied for sixth in receiving touchdowns — yet the Vikings aren’t winning games in spite of his play on the field. Calling out his team to start faster in games may be Jefferson’s last ditch effort before the frustrations lead to roster and coaching changes going forward. 

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