WR - MIN
Week 7 Outlook
The Minnesota Vikings signed Dede Westbrook, the WR's agency announced Sunday. No details were provided.
Westbrook worked out for the Vikings Saturday, according to Ian Rapoport, so the WR must be on track to play Week 1 after suffering a torn ACL Week 7 last season. Drafted in the fourth round in 2017 by the Jacksonville Jaguars, Westbrook's missed 24 games since entering the league - including 14 last season. Appearing in 15 games in 2019, the WR totaled 66 catches on 101 targets for 660 yards and three touchdowns.
Free agent wide receiver and former Jacksonville Jaguar shared an Instagram story stating he was in Minnesota, followed by a Snapchat story of TCO Stadium, where the Vikings practice, reading, "Almost that time again".
After a solid 2019 campaign, Westbrook caught just one pass in 2020 before suffering a gruesome knee injury in Week 2 against the Los Angeles Chargers. If he were to sign with the Minnesota Vikings, he could step in immediately as the team's WR3 if of course he has fully recovered from last season injury.
Former Jacksonville Jaguars and current free-agent WR Dede Westbrook (knee) is expected to be fully cleared to participate in football activities by July, which would mark eight months since his surgery to repair a torn ACL he suffered back in October 2020, per Josina Anderson.
Westbrook saw just one target in 2020 prior to his injury after receiving 101 targets in consecutive years during 2018 and 2019. The speedy slot receiver is an explosive short route runner and relies on his blazing speed to bypass linebackers and safeties across the middle. It's been reported that Westbrook and the San Francisco 49ers have engaged in preliminary communication recently, suggesting that the fifth-year wideout could land a role behind Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel in 2021.
Former Jacksonville Jaguars WR Dede Westbrook is reportedly receiving interest from several teams after missing the majority of the 2020 season due to a torn ACL.
The slot receiver out of the University of Oklahoma is expected to join a new team entering his fifth year in the league. A torn ACL kept Westbrook sidelined for nearly the entire 2020 season but he did see 101 targets and 66 receptions in back-to-back seasons during 2018 and 2019 with sub-par quarterback play from Blake Bortles and Gardner Minshew. The six-foot, 178-pound slot receiver would be a great fit in multiple systems using his sure-hands and speed to compensate for a lack of size to get behind linebackers and nickel cornerback coverage. Teams like the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions would be ideal landing spots for Westbrook, as he would fill a need as their slot wideout and could return to 100+ targets using his quick feet and reliable hands to provide a safe target across the middle.
An MRI confirms that Jacksonville Jaguars WR Dede Westbrook did indeed tear his ACL on Sunday and will miss the remainder of the season.
Westbrook hasn't been much of a factor this season coming off back-to-back 66 catch campaigns. With rumors swirling that the Jags may be looking to make a QB change, D.J. Chark, Keelan Cole, and Laviska Shenault can only be considered in the WR3/FLEX conversation until they prove otherwise.