The Vikings forced a turnover on the first play of Sunday’s game against the Panthers, but they trail 7-3 after making one of their own.
Wide receiver Justin Jefferson was stripped of the ball by Panthers corner A.J. Bouye after a short gain and Panthers linebacker Haason Reddick returned the ball inside the Minnesota 20-yard-line. Sam Darnold hit Shi Smith for 16 yards and Chuba Hubbard plunged into the end zone for his first NFL touchdown.
Darnold’s first pass of the game was intercepted by Vikings cornerback Bashaud Breeland and the Vikings took over on Carolina’s 22-yard-line. The offense stalled after picking up one first down and settled for a field goal.
They were able to force a quick Panthers punt on the ensuing drive, but Jefferson’s fumble and Hubbard’s touchdown have them playing from behind with over eight minutes to play in the first quarter.