In Week 14, Vikings wide receive Justin Jefferson returned to the field after spending several months on injured reserve with a hamstring issue. In his much anticipated return, he caught two receptions for 27 yards, but left the game with a chest injury after a huge hit in the second quarter. Jefferson went to the hospital following the injury, but has since been cleared to go home.
The Vikings face the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 15.
Justin Jefferson injury updates
Thursday update: Minnesota has officially listed Jefferson as questionable for Saturday’s game against Cincinnati.
Wednesday update: Jefferson says that he expects to play a “full, normal” game on Sunday.
Tuesday update: Minnesota just had a walkthrough, so the practice report was an estimation. Jefferson was listed as a limited participant.
Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell said Jefferson is considered day-to-day ahead of Saturday’s game at Paycor Stadium. Early testing on the injury appears promising.
#Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell considers WR Justin Jefferson day-to-day with his chest injury — a sign of a positive outcome from testing. He has a chance to play this weekend.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 11, 2023
Fantasy football analysis
Jefferson’s return to the field was the cause of some anxiety for Jordan Addison fantasy managers. Addison and Jefferson ended the game with identical receiving stat lines, and we can expect to continue to see Addison worked heavily into the passing game, whether or not Jefferson plays this week. However, quarterback Josh Dobbs has not been playing well over the last several weeks and was benched for backup Nick Mullens in Week 14. The quarterback situation could affect both Jefferson and Addison’s fantasy earnings.
Jefferson’s presence will undoubtedly be a factor in the outcome of the Bengals-Vikings matchup. If he plays, the Vikings QB — whoever that is for the upcoming week — will have one of the top targets in the league at his disposal. However, since we don’t know whether that will be Dobbs or Mullens, or how either will fare at this point in the season, I wouldn’t bank on Jefferson’s injury reports as a make-or-break in spread or moneyline betting.
If Jefferson is out, we can expect to see Addison take a larger portion of the target share and have a higher receiving yards total at DraftKings Sportsbook.