Vikings’ Justin Jefferson will not play vs. Bears in Week 12 on ‘MNF’ despite improving hamstring, per report

Justin Jefferson was limited throughout the week of practice and the Vikings officially listed him as questionable for Monday’s matchup against the Bears to wrap up Week 12. While head coach Kevin O’Connell told reporters that the wideout is “getting closer” to getting back on the field, he is not going to be activated for this game vs. Chicago, per NFL Media. Jefferson is expected to be 100% following Minnesota’s Week 13 bye, practice fully that week and play against the Raiders on Dec. 10.

This will be the seventh-straight game that the Vikings will be without Jefferson after he suffered a hamstring injury in Week 5. He was officially placed on injured reserve on Oct. 11.

“If I miss this one, it will be my seventh game, so it’s definitely frustrating,” Jefferson told reporters Friday. “It’s tough to be patient and try and make sure an injury heals properly, it’s definitely not something that I want to do, but it just comes with the game, trying to be healthy, trying to be 100 percent and just [taking] the safe route.”

One of the NFL’s most productive pass catchers when healthy, the 24-year-old Jefferson has repeatedly hinted about a return to the field, recently suggesting he’s excited to work with new quarterback Joshua Dobbs. But he’s also hinted he won’t rush his recovery, recently posting on social media that his health is more important than “your fantasy (football) games.”

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With Jefferson again sidelined, the Vikings figure to lean on reserves K.J. Osborn and Brandon Powell behind rookie Jordan Addison out wide, with tight end T.J. Hockenson remaining a top target. Minnesota (6-5) is one of several NFC teams well-positioned to make a run at a wild-card spot, but the Bears (3-8) are fresh off a close defeat to the Lions.

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