Where is Justin Jefferson? Latest news, updates on Vikings WR’s return from hamstring injury

Vikings fans have been waiting patiently for the return of star wide receiver Justin Jefferson, but it appears they are going to be asked to wait a bit longer. 

Jefferson is not expected to be activated off injured reserve for the Vikings’ “Monday Night Football” contest against the Bears. Despite encouraging reports throughout the week that the 2022 Offensive Player of the Year could be in action for the first time since Week 5, Minnesota is electing to play it safe and keep Jefferson sidelined with the team’s bye scheduled for next week. 

The Vikings have been without Jefferson for the last six games. The wide receiver suffered a hamstring injury in the team’s Week 5 loss to the Chiefs and has been held off the field since. 

The 2020 first-round pick has been a star since arriving in Minnesota. In the five games he has played in so far in 2023, Jefferson has recorded 36 catches on 53 targets for 571 yards and three touchdowns. He recorded more than 140 yards in each of his first three games of the campaign. 

MORE: What time is Vikings vs. Bears on Monday night?

Here is more information on Jefferson’s injury and when he may return. 

Where is Justin Jefferson?

While Jefferson is reportedly “very close” to returning for the Vikings, it won’t come in Week 12. 

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported on Monday afternoon that the Minnesota wide receiver will not be activated from IR this week.

Ahead of the Week 12 matchup against Chicago, Jefferson took to social media to vent his frustrations with fans calling for a rushed return. In a post on X, formerly Twitter, he called out fantasy football owners who have been harassing him about his injury.

“My health is wayyyy more important than you winning your fantasy games,” Jefferson posted on X. “It doesn’t matter how many times y’all flood my dms talking about me selling your team. I DONT CARE.” 

Jefferson has since deleted both his X and Instagram accounts

What is Justin Jefferson’s injury?

During the Vikings’ Week 5 loss to the Chiefs, Jefferson suffered a hamstring injury after he appeared to slip on the field while running a route in the second half. 

#JustinJefferson slips on turf and suffers right hamstring strain. Return thoughts:https://t.co/4glTCeyzsT pic.twitter.com/FOh6JVpcC9

— David J. Chao – ProFootballDoc (@ProFootballDoc) October 8, 2023

Despite the team labeling him as “questionable” to return to the contest, Jefferson did not return. He was placed on injured reserve a few days later, forcing him to miss at least four games. 

The wide receiver was eligible to return Week 10 against the Saints, but he was not activated off injured reserve. He missed last week’s game against the Broncos, and is set to miss tonight’s contest against the Bears. 

When will Justin Jefferson return?

The Vikings have a bye week in Week 13, so Minnesota fans will have to wait until Week 14 to see the potential return of the star wide receiver. 

After the bye week, the Vikings face the Raiders on Sunday, Dec. 10. Here is a look at Minnesota’s remaining schedule for the 2023 season:

Week Date Opponent Kickoff time  TV
12 Nov. 27 at Bears (MNF) 8:15 p.m. ET ESPN
13 Dec. 3 BYE    
14 Dec. 10 at Raiders 4:05 p.m. ET Fox
15 Dec. 17 at Bengals TBD TBD
16 Dec. 24 vs. Lions 1 p.m. ET Fox
17 Dec. 31 vs. Packers (SNF) 8:20 p.m. ET NBC
18 Jan. 7 at Lions TBD TBD

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