No coming home for Justin Jefferson after all
With news of the Minnesota Vikings trekking to London in October for a game with the New Orleans Saints, wide receiver Justin Jefferson won’t get a homecoming in 2022.
The Vikings were scheduled to play an away game in New Orleans this fall or winter, but the NFL moved that contest across the sea to England for a Week 4 fixture.
And Jefferson immediately noticed it by posting this on social media:
Jefferson was born in St. Rose, Louisiana, about 20 miles from Caesars Superdome. He also notably attended LSU, where the Tigers won a national championship in January 2020.
Three months later, Jefferson joined the Vikings, the immediate fruit of Stefon Diggs’ trade. Diggs was traded to Buffalo after vocal frustration with Minnesota‘s opening attack. Fans lamented the trade, but Jefferson quickly quelled the resentment.
Since then, Jefferson has totaled more receiving yards than any human in history over two career seasons (3,016). And he obviously wanted to do more to show off in front of his hometown peers.
In 2020 Jefferson’s rookie campaign, the Vikings faced the Saints in New Orleans but were stumbled 52-33 in an embarrassing Christmas Day appearance. New Orleans tailback Alvin Kamara ripped through the Vikings’ run defense, scoring six touchdowns on the afternoon.
However, Jefferson was not silent that afternoon. He grabbed six passes for 85 yards, but production was overshadowed by shelling.
He can get revenge this time – in London. The Vikings and Saints will play the fifth game in NFL history at Tottenham Spur Stadium on October 2. In total, the two teams played four times in London. Neither the Vikings nor the Saints have ever lost across the pond. Something has to give.
Moreover, Jefferson is not the only Viking deprived of the return to the sources. Cameron Dantzler, Parry Nickerson, and Irv Smith Jr. are also from Louisiana.
Finally, the Saints signed senior free agent Tyrann Mathieu this week after the NFL Draft to improve their 2022 defense. He’s also from New Orleans.
The full NFL schedule falls on May 12.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube channel, VikesNow. He host a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, airing every Wednesday with Raun Saw and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Guilty pleasures listed: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, “The Sopranos” and The Doors (the band).