Minnesota Vikings: 3 Players that must shine vs. Redskins in Week 8

LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 13: Quarterback Sam Bradford
LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 13: Quarterback Sam Bradford /
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Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images
Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images /

3. Olabisi Johnson

Rookie Olabisi Johnson, in his first year in the NFL and with Minnesota after being drafted in the seventh round of this past year’s NFL Draft, will likely be the next man up on the wide receiving depth chart among a group that is suddenly a little banged up on a short week of preparation this week.

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With Adam Thielen’s status for the Thursday Night Football matchup against Washington in Minneapolis after the wide receiver suffered a hamstring injury in a win over the Detroit Lions last Sunday in Detroit, Johnson was forced into the offense a little bit more for Minnesota and stepped up when the team needed him to most throughout the course of that victory.

In order for the Vikings to try and be able to extend their winning streak to four straight on Thursday in Week 8, Johnson will need to fill the void left by Thielen if he indeed isn’t able to go for the game.

In last week’s win over the Lions, Johnson managed to finish the contest with a season-high eight targets, grabbing a total of four receptions for 40 yards and a touchdown in the game.

Johnson has raised some eyebrows and has been a pleasant surprise for Minnesota through seven games thus far this year, and he could find himself in a larger role on Thursday against Washington if the Vikings find themselves a little shorthanded going into the matchup on national television.