Vikings should make this trade for Justin Jefferson insurance

Steelers wide receiver James Washington. (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
Steelers wide receiver James Washington. (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Minnesota Vikings have already had an injury scare with Justin Jefferson, so now is the time to pick up some insurance with Steelers WR James Washington.

When Justin Jefferson went down with a shoulder injury at Vikings training camp on Friday, it highlighted just how tenuous the situation at wide receiver could be.

Jefferson is a star. Adam Thielen takes care of business. Outside those two, there isn’t a sure thing.

That’s why the Vikings should take a look in Pittsburgh, where Steelers wide receiver James Washington has reportedly requested a trade.

The Vikings could trade for James Washington for extra depth

James asked for a trade “based on his limited playtime last season and so far this preseason,” ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.

In Pittsburgh, Washington is fourth in the wide receiver pecking order behind JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool. He had 392 yards and five touchdowns last year while finishing behind tight end Eric Ebron in targets.

That was a considerable step back from 2019 when he had 735 yards while starting 10 of 15 games.

The former second-round selection is capable of being more than a fifth option in an offense. The Vikings could use him.

Jefferson suffered a sprained AC joint, according to Schefter. It’s not considered serious, but it could be a concern in the future. It’s not just about the shoulder. It’s about the genuine possibility of Jefferson or Thielen being injured in 2021. Minnesota needs some insurance in case that happens.

Washington would provide just that. He could be a third option at wide receiver and easily step in to start as necessary.

Dez Bryant tweeted out the possibility of a Thielen-Jefferson-Washington trio even before the trade request came out and before Jefferson had his injury scare.

“Dope receiver core,” he wrote. He’s right about that one.

dark. Next. 4 QB options to cover Kirk Cousins