Whatever health benefits that came from a restful bye week quickly evaporated during the Vikings' 3-0 victory Sunday at the Raiders.
The Vikings offense took a few major blows when receiver Justin Jefferson, right tackle Brian O'Neill, running back Alexander Mattison and receiver Jalen Nailor left due to injuries and did not return. And they have one fewer day to recover ahead of Saturday's game in Cincinnati.
Jefferson rejoined the team at Allegiant Stadium after he was evaluated at a Las Vegas hospital for a "chest internal injury," coach Kevin O'Connell said. He was knocked out of the game in the second quarter from a hard hit by Raiders safety Marcus Epps. Jefferson underwent X-rays and was cleared of "anything serious," the coach said.
"Feel pretty encouraged about the early news on Justin," O'Connell said.
"What I've been told, looks like we avoided any significant thing there," he added. "Now we'll see where he's at, able to fly home with us, get him some treatment and see where he's at for his availability for next week."
O'Neill needed a walking boot for a sprained left ankle, which he injured during a hurry-up drive before halftime. Mattison, who had 10 carries for 66 rushing yards, left in the third quarter due to a sprained right ankle.
"We're a week-to-week offense," O'Connell said.
Nailor, the Las Vegas native, is in the concussion protocol after getting more playing time in the wake of Jefferson's injury. He was pulled from the game by an independent spotter after a helmet-to helmet hit from Raiders cornerback Amik Robertson in the fourth quarter.
Tackle David Quessenberry, the 33-year-old journeyman who joined the Vikings in August, replaced O'Neill. The injury-marred Vikings offensive line — starting Blake Brandel at right guard for Ed Ingram, who was ruled out due to a hip injury — also briefly lost left guard Dalton Risner. Risner limped off the field in the third quarter and was replaced by Austin Schlottmann for a few plays. Risner later returned to the game. Brandel is the ninth Vikings offensive lineman to start a game this season.
Behind a banged-up line, quarterback Joshua Dobbs took five sacks before he was pulled for Nick Mullens in the fourth quarter. Raiders edge rusher Maxx Crosby had two sacks as O'Connell often saw him on the right side after O'Neill's injury.
"They immediately want to line [Crosby] up over there the rest of the day," O'Connell said.
Raiders running back Josh Jacobs limped off the field a couple times while taking 13 carries for 34 yards. He eventually left with a knee injury and did not return. The Raiders also lost center Andre James to an ankle injury.
Receiver K.J. Osborn struggled to connect with Dobbs, dropping three passes that weren't always thrown well. Osborn failed to corral a well-placed deep ball in the second quarter. But he later dropped an off-target screen pass in the fourth quarter.
On the next play, Osborn dropped a ball thrown between the numbers on his jersey. Pro Football Focus tabbed him with five drops — tied for the team high — entering the game. He finished with four catches for 15 yards.
• This was the NFL's first scoreless game through three quarters since Dec. 31, 2017, when the Cowboys beat the Eagles 6-0. The NFL's last 3-0 victory came on Nov. 26, 2007, when the Steelers beat the Dolphins during a muddy, rainy Monday night in Pittsburgh.
• Raiders receiver Davante Adams, the former Packers star, has scored more touchdowns (13) against the Vikings than anybody in NFL history. But he had just seven grabs for 53 yards in his first game against Minnesota with the Raiders.
• Safety Lewis Cine, the 2022 first-round pick, was a healthy scratch for the sixth time in his second NFL season. Cine has appeared in five games this season, all on special teams.
Star Tribune writer Ben Goessling contributed to this report from Las Vegas. The Star Tribune did not send the writer of this article to the game. This was written using a broadcast, interviews and other material.