Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson will return after 7-game absence for hamstring injury

Vikings Panthers Football
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson catches a touchdown pass against the Carolina Panthers during the second half of an NFL football game on Oct. 1 in Charlotte, N.C.
Rusty Jones | AP

Minnesota Vikings All-Pro wide receiver Justin Jefferson is ready to return after missing two months with a hamstring injury.

Coach Kevin O'Connell announced on Tuesday that Jefferson will be activated from injured reserve. Minnesota began its bye week after a 12-10 loss to Chicago on Monday, but Jefferson will be added to the active roster before the Vikings (6-6) play at Las Vegas on Dec. 10 after missing the past seven games.

Jefferson, the AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 2022, has missed seven games since the injury in Week 5 against Kansas City, the first absence of his four-year career. He has 36 catches for 571 yards and three touchdowns this season.

“Justin was close to having a chance of going last night, but the best thing for him and for our team moving forward was to get through the bye and ultimately have him at 100% coming out of the bye as we take on the Raiders on the road,” O'Connell said.

Jefferson returned to practice on Nov. 8 and said last week he was reaching “top speeds." But the Vikings opted to give Jefferson one more game and the bye to fully heal. If Jefferson weren't activated this week for some reason, he would have been ineligible to return this season.

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