Justin Jefferson isn't ready to pack it in just because the Minnesota Vikings have started the season 0-3.
The All-Pro wide receiver spoke with reporters on Thursday about the team's winless start, but Jefferson also made sure to issue a clear, optimistic reminder: The 2023 NFL season is far from over, and this early test will determine whether the Vikings are resilient enough to pull out of this skid.
"At the end of the day, it's not going to be perfect every time," Jefferson said, per ESPN.com. "There's things that you've got to go through throughout the season to really tell if you're going to be a great team or not. We're handling adversity early in the season with the turnovers and being 0-3, but there is a whole bunch of more games to go."
The Vikings lead the NFL in turnovers (nine), with only two takeaways for a minus-7 turnover differential. They rank in the top 10 of many offensive categories but rank in the bottom 10 of several defensive metrics. The Vikings had the ball late in both of their home games with chances to win.
Following the 0-3 start -- all one-score losses -- social-media vultures have started circling, suggesting the Vikings start thinking about next season and trading off assets. Not surprisingly, Jefferson seems to be quite over that talk.
"I'm tired of people saying that we're looking into next season, or all of the trades and stuff like that," said, Jefferson, who is set to enter next season on the final year of his rookie contract. "We're focused still on this season. We have a lot more games to go and we have a lot more things to accomplish this season.
"We're still focused in, and we still have the same goal as we had before the season. We just need to fix a few things, and I feel like we'll be back on track."
Even trading Jefferson has been floated by some fans, despite him leading the NFL in receiving yards with 458 -- the most ever by a player through the first three weeks of a season. But other online fan chatter has focused on quarterback Kirk Cousins (a 2024 free agent who has a no-trade clause) and edge rusher Danielle Hunter as possible more likely trade chips to acquire draft picks
Whether that eventually happens ahead of the league's Oct. 31 trade deadline remains to be seen. But from Jefferson's perspective, his only focus is on fixing the problem internally first.
"It's just really being confined to ourselves, knowing who is in this building and what we're trying to accomplish," Jefferson said on Thursday, "and I feel like that's all that really matters."