Will Justin Jefferson play on MNF vs the Bears? Latest update for Vikings WR

The Minnesota Vikings have waited patiently for star wide receiver Justin Jefferson to return from a hamstring injury. Is it go time vs. the Bears?

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson / Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The last time Justin Jefferson played football, Kirk Cousins' Achilles was intact, Joshua Dobbs was an Arizona Cardinal and the Minnesota Vikings were 1-4.

A whole lot has changed since then. While Jefferson has sat out with a hamstring injury suffered on Oct. 8 against the Chiefs, the Vikings have won five of six games. They're firmly in the playoff hunt and hopeful to get a serious boost when the star wide receiver returns.

There was some hope that Jefferson would be back in time to face the Bears on Monday Night Football. The questionable designation, however, has changed.

Justin Jefferson injury update: Vikings WR downgraded to out

Unfortunately, Jefferson will not play against Chicago. He was not activated off injured reserve and will miss his seventh game. The team instead elevated linebacker Anthony Barr to the active roster.

The Vikings are heading for a bye week after Monday Night Football, so Jefferson will have even more time to get his hamstring right before a determination is made if he can suit up against the Raiders on Dec. 10. It seems likely that will be his return date.

So Minnesota will have to survive one more outing without Jefferson. They're a field goal favorite over Chicago and looking to bounce back after a loss to the red hot Broncos in Week 11.

Hamstring injuries are tricky. They're notoriously nagging and coming back from one too soon can only do more damage. So the Vikings have been cautious with their most potent weapon on offense. And so far that caution has not been punished. They went on an unlikely five-game winning streak after Jefferson went down, leaning on rookie sensation Jordan Addison and TJ Hockenson to lead the way in the passing game.

It'll be up to those players to step up again in Week 12.

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