Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson will miss the Week 12 'Monday Night Football' game against the Chicago Bears as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports.
Jefferson, 24, continues to make progress and is reportedly "very close" to returning, but the Vikings "will play it safe and not activate him for tonight's game vs. Chicago," Pelissero wrote on his X account Monday (November 27). Minnesota enters its bye week after Monday's game and Jefferson is reportedly "expected to be 100% after the bye," which will include being a full participant in practice and active for the team's December 10 game against the Las Vegas Raiders, according to Pelissero.
Last week, Jefferson fired back at fantasy football owners who he claimed were trying to persuade him to return from injury sooner than necessary.
"My health is wayyyy more important than you winning your fantasy games. It doesn’t matter how many times y’all flood my dms talking about me selling your team. I DONT CARE," Jefferson wrote on his X account last Tuesday (November 21) before shutting down the account.
Jefferson was placed on injured reserve on October 11 due to a hamstring injury suffered in the team's October 8 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, which ruled him out for four consecutive games in adherence with league rules. The Louisiana native returned to practice earlier this month, but has missed two additional games since coming off injured reserve.
Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell acknowledged that Jefferson could miss the team's upcoming 'Monday Night Football' game against the Chicago Bears, which would give the reigning NFL Offensive Player of the Year two more weeks to recover as the team enters its bye the following week.
"There's been some real urgency throughout this whole process, but also a mindset on being smart and making sure that he feels as good as possible, as good as we can, to him feeling 100 percent when he comes back," O'Connell said via Vikings.com. "It's one of those things that knowing that you have the bye and knowing you have five critical opportunities to come after that bye, we have to be smart. This is a player that means a ton to our organization."
Jefferson recorded three receptions for 28 yards prior to exiting the October 8 game and had 36 receptions for 571 yards and three touchdowns through his first five games of the 2023 NFL season. The Vikings won their next five games prior to a 21-20 'Sunday Night Football' loss to the Denver Broncos.
Minnesota currently holds the final NFC Wild Card spot at 6-5.