Justin Jefferson may not return for Vikings until Week 14?
Minnesota Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell hinted Monday that wide receiver Justin Jefferson may miss more time with his lingering hamstring injury.
Jefferson was designated to return from injured reserve last week, but the Vikings did not play him Sunday against the Denver Broncos. O’Connell suggested the wide receiver was not guaranteed to return and that the team has to be “smart” about bringing him back.
Kevin O'Connell termed WR Justin Jefferson as "questionable" for next Monday's game vs. Bears. He also acknowledged "we do have to be smart" about bringing him back, knowing the Vikings have their bye the following week and could get add a "free" week to his 21-day window.
— Kevin Seifert (@SeifertESPN) November 20, 2023
As O’Connell notes, the Vikings have a bye week coming up in Week 13. The team could hold Jefferson out for another week, then give him an extra week to recover during the bye, before bringing him back for Week 14.
Jefferson suffered the injury in Week 5 and has not played since, with reports suggesting that he wants to make sure he has his full speed and endurance back before playing in a game. The best way to do that might be to simply hold him out for another week, as frustrating as that outcome may be.