In the last game Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson played, it was Kirk Cousins throwing him passes. When Jefferson returns from injured reserve, which, barring any major setbacks with his hamstring, will be this week, it will be Josh Dobbs who'll be throwing him the ball.
When Cousins went down with a season-ending injury, the Vikings aquired Dobbs from the Arizona Cardinals. After a thrilling start in Minnesota, he struggled mightily in Week 12, nearly losing his starting job.
Dobbs will get another chance and will have help from the team's star receiver, who was a full participant in practice this week. Jefferson has never played with the veteran QB, so he's had to work on getting comfortable with his new offensive leader.
When asked how he has caught up with Dobbs in a short period of time, Jefferson said (via NFL.com), "Really both ways, just on the field and in the film room, just going over different plays with him, going over the timing of everything just like we did with Kirk [Cousins], and trying to find that connection that we can use for Sunday."
Jefferson had positive things to say about Dobbs: "It's been a pleasure working with him, kinda learning things that I can learn from him, that he can learn from me, and it'll be better for us when we go out on that field."
In the Vikings' last game, Dobbs had four interceptions and had another the week before, with just two touchdowns in those matchups, both losses. The struggles come after Dobbs was crucial in wins in his first two games as a Viking.
Jefferson is confident in how he and Dobbs will fare in this week's game against the Las Vegas Raiders.
"I mean, I've been talking with Josh, and of course before this week I wasn't really in practice as much, so wasn't really working with him as much," Jefferson said. "But I feel like we're going to be good, we're going to be fine, as long as he has confidence in me and I have confidence in him."
The wide receiver has been able to watch Dobbs from the sidelines and noticed some strengths from his new QB.
"I feel like Josh is a smart enough quarterback to read the defenses and choose when to throw me the ball, and see the double-teams and the single-highs, all of that," No. 18 said. "So, we go over that every single day, kind of prepare for that to happen throughout the game, so I feel like we're well prepared in that aspect of things."
If the season ended today, the Vikings would be the No. 6 seed in the playoffs.
"Shoot, we're trying to get to the playoffs, and get to the Super Bowl," Jefferson said. "I mean, the individual stats are not there for me this year, but it's more about winning for the team, more about doing things for the team to help. Of course, I had to do the sideline adjustment, but now it is more about getting on the field and helping this team out any way I can."
Jefferson says he feels ready to play, noting that if he didn't, he "wouldn't be playing."
"That was the main focus to getting back on the field, is having that same explosion, having that same power, having that same speed as I did before the injury," he said.