Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson will return after 7-game absence for hamstring injury

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Vikings All-Pro wide receiver Justin Jefferson was activated from injured reserve on Tuesday, cleared to return to action after missing two months with a hamstring injury.

Minnesota began its bye week after a 12-10 loss to Chicago on Monday, but Jefferson will be back on the field when the Vikings (6-6) play at Las Vegas on Dec. 10. He missed the past seven games.

Jefferson, the AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 2022, was hurt in Week 5 against Kansas City, causing the first absence of his four-year career. He has 36 catches for 571 yards and three touchdowns this season.

“Justin was close to having a chance of going last night, but the best thing for him and for our team moving forward was to get through the bye and ultimately have him at 100% coming out of the bye as we take on the Raiders on the road,” O’Connell said.

Jefferson returned to practice on Nov. 8 and said last week he was reaching “top speeds.” But the Vikings opted to give Jefferson one more game and the bye to fully heal. If Jefferson weren’t activated this week for some reason, he would have been ineligible to return this season.

The Vikings waived wide receiver N’Keal Harry to make room on the roster on Tuesday and also released quarterback Sean Mannion from the practice squad.

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