Will Justin Jefferson Return In Time For a Vikings' Playoff Run?

Written by: Miles Jordan

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Kirk Cousins, Justin Jefferson, and Carolina Panthers Wide Receiver Adam Thielen.

Minnesota Vikings Wide receiver Justin Jefferson missed his sixth straight game this season due to a hamstring injury and will continue to miss games until fully healthy.

His tweet responded to the backlash of his fantasy owners, who were upset that Jefferson continued to miss games and cost their teams points. Jefferson has stated that he will not return to the field at 80 or 90 percent, insinuating that he will only play once he is 100 percent healthy.

Jordan Addison

Jefferson has yet to play since Minnisotas' Week 5 27-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Jefferson recorded 36 catches for 571 yards and three touchdowns this season in the five games he played before his hamstring injury. Since Jefferson was ruled out, rookie receiver Jordan Addison has flourished in his new role of WR1, totaling 29 catches, 398 yards, and four touchdowns in the six games Jefferson has missed. Addison has shown his value as the second most targeted player on the team in 2023, behind starting tight end T.J. Hockenson.

Joshua Dobbs

The Vikings have already suffered the loss of their starting Quarterback, Kirk Cousins, who suffered a season-ending Achilles tear, in their 24-10 win against their division rivals on Oct. 29. Cousins was playing a terrific game, completing 23 of 31 passes for 274 yards and two touchdowns. Luckily, the Vikings signed free agent Joshua Dobbs, who has earned a 2-1 record since earning the starting quarterback role, including a one-point loss to the Denver Broncos 21-20 in Week 11.

The Vikings are 6-5 and in the hunt for a 2023 playoff appearance. They are currently in the seventh seed, just one game back from the Seattle Seahawks. If the Vikings could make a playoff appearance, the return of Justin Jefferson would be tremendous for Minnesota's offense. It is questionable if Jefferson will play in Minnesota's Week 12 matchup against the Chicago Bears. If he is ruled out, he will have the Vikings Bye week in Week 13 to continue to recover and rest his hamstring before returning to the team in Week 14.

If the Vikings can beat the Bears in Week 12, they will be one step closer to earning a playoff spot and seeing the return of their star wide receiver.