The Bears could dodge one of the best players in the NFL when they take on the Vikings in Week 6, but they’re not sitting around with their fingers crossed. Justin Jefferson tweaked his hamstring on Sunday and it’s unclear whether or not he’ll be healthy enough to suit up against the Bears. However, the Bears are preparing as if he’s going to play.
“You always have to be ready for that,” said head coach Matt Eberflus. “One of the most dynamic receivers in the league, so you’ve always got to prepare for that.”
Jefferson has emerged as arguably the best wide receiver in all of football due to his ability to beat defenses in a variety of ways, and his ability to score whenever he has the ball in his hands. The Bears have seen that ability up close several times. In six games against the Bears, Jefferson has caught a whopping 41 passes for 585 yards and two scores. That averages out to 6.8 catches and 97.5 yards per game.
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“He’s powerful and he’s just fluid,” said Eberflus. “How they keep him on the move and they do a really good job with him. He’s strong through the catchpoint, just a very dynamic player, one of the best in the league at that position.”
This season Jefferson ranks third in the NFL in receiving yards (571), tied for fifth in catches (36), and tied for fifth in touchdown catches (3). He leads the league in catches that go for 20 or more yards (14).
If Jefferson can’t go, the Vikings will likely lean on K.J. Osborn and rookie phenom Jordan Addison as their primary wide receivers. Pass-catching tight end T.J. Hockenson figures to see extra targets, too. Each of those players has proven at different times that he can be called upon when needed.