Don’t look now but the Vikes are having more issues with their secondary. Chris Cook is still a couple weeks from coming back, and now his replacement is a question mark too. A concussion may sideline cornerback A.J. Jefferson for this weekend’s gigantic game against the Rams. Jefferson suffered the injury making a tackle on the Bears’ Matt Forte. He was pulled from the game and replaced with Marcus Sherels.
The concussion protocols kicked in on Monday and Jefferson failed to pass the tests. As we’ve seen before, players who fail to pass the concussion tests early in the week seldom pass them late in the week. So it’s highly unlikely that Jefferson will be cleared to play against the Rams.
How does this impact the Vikings’ chances at winning in St. Louis to keep their playoff hopes alive? Well that depends on how you look at it. Jefferson wasn’t exactly distinguishing himself in place of Chris Cook. In fact, quarterbacks have tended to pick on Jefferson who lines up on the defensive right. Jefferson has struggled in jump ball situations and not tackled very well. And he added to his own woes Sunday by fumbling on a kickoff return (the Vikes luckily were able to fall on it).
So you’re not exactly losing a Pro Bowl cornerback here. But consider what’s behind him on the depth chart. Marcus Sherels is the next cornerback in line followed by the seldom-used Brandon Burton. If you thought Jefferson got picked on a lot, wait until Sherels lines up out there.
Seems like this has to happen every year to the Vikings. Injuries in the secondary. Thankfully Chris Cook is expected back in a couple of weeks. They’ll need him for the Packer game the final week of the season. Can’t lose to the Packers at home. Forget about playoff scenarios. Pride is at stake in that one.
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