Justin Jefferson, Vikings
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Vikings may keep Justin Jefferson out for at least one more game

The Minnesota Vikings are eyeing a push toward the playoffs, which puts star wide receiver Justin Jefferson’s recovery from a hamstring injury toward the forefront.

The All-Pro wideout continues to make progress but has yet to take the next step toward returning to the field. Head coach Kevin O’Connell voiced that the team may keep him out of next Monday’s game against the Chicago Bears, which marks the last game before their back week.

“I think that will definitely go into the decision-making process,” O’Connell said via ESPN. “We’re right at that six-week mark or so. He’s really attacked his rehab, and I think when that time comes, we’ll feel comfortable with Justin being out there. I know Justin will as well. It’s one of those things that knowing you have the bye, and knowing there are five critical [games] to come after that bye, we do have to be smart.

“This is a player that means a ton to our organization, both for this home stretch to try to solidify our positioning in the playoffs and still try to compete in the division as much as we possibly can, but Justin means a lot more than just these five or six games, as critical as they are. His long-term career here is the priority.”

The extended break may be what allows Jefferson to heal fully from the injury before he returns. The Vikings would love to have Jefferson back, but the organization wants to make sure he’s entirely healthy to avoid a setback.

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Minnesota has until the Dec.10 matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders to designate back to the active roster.

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