Vikings prediction No. 4
T.J. Hockesnson will remain Josh Dobbs’s favorite target
With this article written on Thursday, we won’t speculate whether Jefferson will return from his hamstring injury. But even if the Vikings do get their top weapon back in the passing game, it could be T.J. Hockenson who has the biggest night in the passing game.
Jordan Addison and Jefferson should give defensive coordinators headaches upon the latter’s return. The addition of K.J. Osborn, who missed Sunday’s win over the Saints with a concussion, should also give Josh Dobbs more weapons to play with but Dobbs found Hockenson early and often as he caught 11 passes for 134 yards and a touchdown.
Hockenson’s play has also started to validate his four-year, $68.5 million contract extension signed last summer. Only Keenan Allen (73) has more receptions among wide receivers and tight ends than Hockenson this year and Hockenson now has 131 catches for 1,200 yards and seven touchdowns in 20 games since joining Minnesota at last season’s trade deadline.
While Addison and Jefferson are dynamic threats, Hockenson has become a security blanket, capable of creating chunk plays in the passing game. Even if a rib injury continues to hamper the 26-year-old, he should be able to operate against a Broncos defense allowing a league-high 7.1 net yards per attempt.