It got lost in what was mostly a pretty horrible afternoon yesterday, but there was one bright spot for the Minnesota Vikings that deserves to be highlighted in this space.
Midway through the fourth quarter, when the game had long been decided, Kirk Cousins found rookie Jalen Nailor for a 47-yard touchdown pass, the first of Nailor’s career.
(Kudos to K.J. Osborn for retrieving the ball for Nailor, too. . .he would have hated missing out on that.)
Sure, it was in garbage time and it might not have meant anything to this game in particular and blah blah blah. Whatever. I’m happy for the kid.
Given the current state of the Vikings’ depth chart at the wide receiver position, this could be something significant for the team’s future. We know Justin Jefferson is great, but. . .and this might be sacrilege. . .I think Adam Thielen might be just about done. K.J. Osborn has stepped up in a big way over the past couple of seasons, but the Vikings need a receiver that can legitimately “take the top” off of a defense, and Nailor could potentially be that guy.
If we’re talking about the fastest players on the Vikings’ roster, Nailor’s name needs to be in the conversation. When he was at Michigan State, his productivity was never in question. . .he led the Big Ten in yards/catch in 2020 and was second in that category in 2021. His issue was injuries, and that’s something that’s not really projectable, honestly.
With the Vikings possibly resting a lot of starters in the regular season finale in Chicago this Sunday, it would be nice to see Nailor get a real, extended look to see what he can bring to the table and possibly give him some real momentum going into next season.
But, most importantly, congratulations to Jalen Nailor on his first National Football League touchdown. Hopefully, it will be the first of many for him in purple.