3 biggest challenges Minnesota Vikings face in 2020

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Mike Zimmer
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Mike Zimmer /
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Justin Jefferson, LSU Tigers
Wide Receiver Justin Jefferson #2 of the LSU Tigers (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /

No. 3: Minnesota Vikings Finding the Best Pass-Catching Crop

Losing Stefon Diggs hurts in a number of ways. Not only was Minnesota’s former No. 1 receiver the top target for quarterback Kirk Cousins, but he was also the threat which made the Vikings passing game so much more prolific.

Granted, having fellow wide receiver Adam Thielen on the roster provided a major boost. And while Thielen’s numbers in 2019 weren’t quite as impressive, thanks largely to an injury-abbreviated campaign, there’s little reason to suspect Thielen will be anything but a top pass-catching option in 2020.

But what about his supporting cast?

Tight end Kyle Rudolph provides a lot of help. Yet the bigger focus will be on the development of rookie wide receivers Justin Jefferson and, to a lesser extent, K.J. Osborne. Former Tennessee Titans wide receiver Tajae Sharpe could be a supplementary player to watch, too.

Getting back to the rookies, it’s easy to be excited about Jefferson. But putting too many expectations on a first-year wide receiver can always be a bit premature. There’s going to be an adjustment period, particularly early on.

And that could translate into Minnesota’s passing offense going through some growing pains for the first few weeks of the season.

Speaking of those first few weeks…