Vikings WR Justin Jefferson breaks NFL record held by Odell Beckham Jr.

Jaylon Thompson
USA TODAY Sports+

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson always admired NFL superstar Odell Beckham Jr. The former LSU Tigers are close friends and Jefferson followed in the veteran receiver's footsteps. 

On Sunday, Jefferson made history against Beckham and the Los Angeles Rams when he set an NFL record for most receiving yards through a player's first two seasons. 

 Adding to the magnitude of the moment, the record Jefferson broke was Beckham's 2,755 receiving yards set in 2015 during his second season with the New York Giants. And, Beckham was on the opposite sideline to witness it all. 

“It’s going to mean a lot. It’s going to be exciting to top his name (with) the connection we have together,” Jefferson told local reporters earlier this week. “It’s definitely an honor to be listed with the greats that are up there.”

Jefferson needed 21 yards to surpass Beckham going into Sunday's game. During the third quarter, Jefferson hauled in a nine-yard reception on a slant route. The pass was the record-breaker and resulted in a first down to extend the Vikings’ first drive after halftime. 

 Jefferson rose to a featured role after the Vikings selected him in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. The Vikings hoped he could replace former star Stefon Diggs, who was traded to the Buffalo Bills.

Jefferson has exceeded expectations. He’s made consecutive Pro Bowls and shined alongside teammate Adam Thielen. In 31 career games, Jefferson has averaged 15 yards per reception.

Beckham watched Jefferson’s rise from afar. Both players stay in touch and even coordinated their pregame attire Sunday. Beckham wore a Jefferson-inspired T-shirt during warmups. The shirt read “My Twin” with photos of Jefferson’s football career.

Jefferson returned the favor. He wore a shirt displaying Beckham’s previous record.

This season, both Jefferson and Beckham have a chance to reach the NFL playoffs. While this is their first meeting, they could see each other again with higher stakes in January.