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Vikings lose Justin Jefferson to injury and bench Joshua Dobbs for Nick Mullens

It’s been a hectic week for the Bengals’ upcoming opponent.

Minnesota Vikings v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals are now 7-6 and firmly in the mix for the NFL Playoffs thanks to a two-game winning streak.

Their upcoming opponent isn’t having quite as good of a time as we head into the final four-game stretch of the regular season.

Week 14 started off well enough for the Minnesota Vikings, who got All-Pro wide receiver Justin Jefferson back for the first time since Week 5 due to a hamstring injury.

Sadly, his return was short-lived, as Jefferson was knocked out of the Vikings’ Week 14 game vs. the Las Vegas Raiders with a chest injury. It came after a big hit that is partly on the shoulders of Joshua Dobbs.

Speaking of Dobbs, who was a midseason revelation for Minnesota, he’s since come back down to Earth and was just benched in favor of Nick Mullens.

Dobbs’ job was in jeopardy entering Week 14 after a horrific four-interception performance in a home loss to the Chicago Bears. After failing to lead Minnesota on a scoring drive through three quarters in Vegas, Dobbs was benched in favor of Mullens, who hasn’t won an NFL start since 2020 with the San Francisco 49ers.

The Vikings would go on to beat the Raiders 3-0, but Jefferson never returned to the game after being ruled out. It’s unclear if/how long he could be sidelined.

For the Bengals to make the playoffs, they have to win at home against a struggling Vikings team. Lose that game, and then things get really dicey.