Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson has been on injured reserve with a hamstring injury since Week 6. While he won’t return for the Vikings Monday Night matchup against the Bears in Week 12, he is expected to come back at full strength after the Vikings’ Week 13 bye. Minnesota faces the Raiders in Week 14. Per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Vikings are airing on the side of caution by keeping Jefferson out Monday night.
#Vikings star WR Justin Jefferson is “very close” to returning from his hamstring injury, per source, but the team will play it safe and not activate him for tonight’s game vs. Chicago.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 27, 2023
Jefferson is expected to be 100% after the bye, practice fully and play Dec. 10 at Las Vegas. pic.twitter.com/45nO9qHY6d
Justin Jefferson injury updates
Tuesday, November 28 update: Jefferson is officially being activated from injured reserve. The Vikings are on bye in Week 13, but Jefferson is expected to be ready to go in Week 14 against the Las Vegas Raiders.
Reports out of Minnesota indicate that Jefferson has been steadily progressing for several weeks. He sustained the injury in Week 5 against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Fantasy football analysis
When Jefferson returns, tight end TJ Hockenson and wide receiver Jordan Addison will each likely see a downturn in fantasy earnings. While it probably won’t require benching either of them, as both players should still see a fair target share from Josh Dobbs, fantasy managers may see a decrease in weekly points.
Since Jefferson’s injury, the Vikings lost starting quarterback Kirk Cousins to an Achilles tear, and gained quarterback Josh Dobbs. The Vikings are 5-1 since Jefferson’s departure and 2-1 with Dobbs as the starting QB. Dobbs has been largely relying on Jordan Addison and TJ Hockenson in the receiving group, but the return of Jefferson could give the Vikings that extra boost as they set their sights on a playoff berth.