Justin Jefferson, the star wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings, has been sidelined since Week 5 due to a right hamstring injury sustained in a game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Despite the absence of Jefferson and quarterback Kirk Cousins facing injuries, the Vikings are currently second in the NFC North and in contention for a Wild Card spot.
The team is set to play the Chicago Bears on Monday night football in Week 12, and fans are eager to know if Jefferson, who is known as one of the best WRs in the league, will make his comeback.
Is Justin Jefferson going to return from injury?
Although Justin Jefferson expressed earlier that he wouldn’t rush his return, emphasizing that he wouldn’t jeopardize his health for fantasy football purposes, he seems close to returning.
The wide receiver mentioned on Friday that his hamstring hasn’t fully healed, but he’s reached “top speed” in practice.
“I’ve been getting to top speeds, I’ve been running well,” the WR said. “Still on the same thing, a day-to-day process.”
But still, the wide receiver has been listed as questionable for the Bears game. According to recent reports, Jefferson might not play in the Monday night football game.
It has been nearly two months since Jefferson’s last game, and both he and the team are cautious about ensuring he returns at 100%. The upcoming bye week provides an additional recovery window.
The coach also shared that the team wants their best player to be completely healthy before he plays his next game.
“It comes down to the best receiver in football trying to get to 100 percent so we can get him back out there not just for any short-term burst but for a heck of a lot longer than that,” O’Connell said.
Justin Jefferson is also frustrated with the slow healing process and clarified that his absence is not related to his contract, which remains until 2025. The reason his return has been delayed is to keep him for the long term.
How crucial is Justin Jefferson to Vikings offense?
Justin Jefferson is one of the most explosive athletes in the NFL, known for his playmaking abilities and speed. He received the NFL offensive player of the year award and is crucial for the team’s offense, as his added talents can do wonders for the team but considering his injury, the team is being cautious.
A hamstring injury, especially for a player like Jefferson, requires careful management. Returning too soon could risk reaggravation, a cycle of injuries, and reduced on-field effectiveness. Therefore, they are focusing on the health of WR right now and giving him time to fully recover before making a comeback.
If the WR won’t be able to play in the game against the Bears, then the Vikings will have the option to rely on Brandon Powell and K.J. Osborn. They also have rookie wideout Jordan Addison and TE T.J. Hockenson.
Even in the WR’s absence, the Vikings have performed well. In the six games Jefferson missed, the team won five games (5-1). Overall, the team is 6-5 this season and can easily secure the Wild Card spot. On the other hand, the Bears (3-8) will also be trying hard to win this game after their recent loss to the Lions.
Can the Vikings secure a win against the Bears in the absence of Justin Jefferson? Share your thoughts in the comments.