Is Justin Jefferson playing Monday night? Fantasy injury update for Bears-Vikings Week 12 Monday Night Football

Where in the world is Justin Jefferson? Your guess is as good as ours, as the receiver continues to leave the fantasy football world perplexed with his injury status. After almost returning a few weeks ago, Jefferson didn’t suit up and hasn’t come close to playing since. With his window to return nearing its conclusion, Monday night’s matchup against the Bears becomes that much more intriguing. Will Jefferson end up playing in Week 12 or will the saga end up dragging on through Minnesota’s bye?

We’ll continue to update this article with news on Jefferson until the official active/inactive report comes out on Monday around 6:45 p.m. ET, so check back for the latest.

Is Justin Jefferson playing Monday night Week 12? 

UPDATE: NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Monday morning that Jefferson will not be activated in time for Monday night’s game. He’ll return in Week 14 after Minnesota’s bye.

It wasn’t long ago that Jefferson (hamstring) seemed primed for a return, but it’s been a few weeks and we’re still waiting for that to come to fruition. Now Week 12 appears to be in question, too, with the receiver continuing to preach patience as he tries to get back to 100 percent. Jefferson was limited in practice on Thursday and Friday, meaning Saturday should help paint a clearer picture as it relates to his Monday status. However, it’s important to note that Minnesota will be on a bye next week, so it could make sense to hold Jefferson out of this contest and set up a return in Week 14.

Jefferson has received plenty of criticism for this situation, causing many to ponder if he’s slow-playing it. The Vikings are firmly back in the playoff race, though, so it doesn’t appear that his season is in danger like it might’ve been had they fallen off. 

The receiver told reporters that he can reach top speed in practice, but it’s still hard to feel confident considering how the past few weeks have played out. “If I’m feeling good, I’ll play,” Jefferson said earlier in the week, but The Athletic’s Dianna Russini reported earlier in the week that Jefferson is unlikely to play against the Bears. Jefferson added that he isn’t concerned about the upcoming contract negotiations and even picked a fight with the fantasy community in the process. As far as the Vikings are concerned, they haven’t really skipped a beat without him considering they also lost Kirk Cousins (Achilles) along the way. Jordan Addison and T.J. Hockenson have filled in admirably, much like Joshua Dobbs, who has led them to a 1-1 record since arriving. 

The biggest concern surrounding Jefferson’s status is whether he’s worth waiting around for with a game on Monday night. Barring a positive update before the Sunday kickoffs, we believe you’re better off looking elsewhere unless he’s all you have left. The team will have to activate Jefferson before his 21-day practice window runs out on Nov. 29, otherwise, he will miss the rest of the season.

WEEK 12 PPR RANKINGS:
QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/STs | Kickers

The likeliest conclusion is Jefferson will miss Monday’s game and be activated next week, setting up that post-bye return. If you decide to risk starting Jefferson, emergency options on the Minnesota side include K.J. Osborn and Brandon Powell, while Darnell Mooney is your best widely available option on the Bears.

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