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#pounditThursday, May 23, 2024

Reporter explains why Justin Jefferson hasn’t returned to Vikings yet

Justin Jefferson holding a ball

Sep 11, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) scores a touchdown on a pass from quarterback Kirk Cousins (not pictured) against the Green Bay Packers during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Jefferson has been out for the Minnesota Vikings since suffering a hamstring injury in Week 5. On Nov. 8, the Vikings opened a 21-day window for Jefferson to begin practicing. That gave them 21 days to add him to their active roster.

Despite Jefferson returning to practice, he did not play in Week 10 or Week 11. The team has until Nov. 29 to add him to their active roster, otherwise he will miss the entire season.

So why wasn’t Jefferson activated for the Vikings’ Week 11 game against the Denver Broncos on Sunday night? NBC’s Melissa Stark explained.

Stark reported during the first half of Sunday’s game that she spoke to Jefferson, who told her he didn’t have the full speed and endurance he needs to play. Stark added that Jefferson told her his goal is to play in Week 12, though he will be patient because he wants to feel like he did at the beginning of the season, or stronger.

The Vikings are scheduled to play the Chicago Bears on “Monday Night Football” on Nov. 27. If he’s not ready to play in that game, the Vikings would still need to add him to their active roster to avoid having him be out for the season. But if he’s not ready for that game, he would get even more time to heal and recover. The Vikings are off in Week 13 and wouldn’t return until Dec. 10.

Jefferson previously warned that he wouldn’t return until he felt 100 percent healthy. The fourth-year receiver has 36 catches for 571 yards and 3 touchdowns this season.

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