Justin Jefferson not ready to return to Vikings just yet: 'I'm the main person that's going to make the decision'

Justin Jefferson isn't ready to return to the Minnesota Vikings yet. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Justin Jefferson will not return to the Minnesota Vikings for Sunday night's game against the Denver Broncos, the team announced Saturday.

The Vikings wide receiver has not played since suffering a hamstring injury Oct. 8. He remains on injured reserve and his next chance to return will come Monday, Nov. 27 against the Chicago Bears. Minnesota has its bye in Week 13, so it is possible the team plays it cautious and sits him again for additional recovery time.

"The hamstring is a difficult injury just because it lingers and it comes back from time to time if you don't put the right treatment into it," Jefferson said last week.

Justin Jefferson headshot
Justin Jefferson
WR - MIN - #18
2023 - 2024 season

That's why the one person who will ultimately be the voice who says Jefferson is 100 percent and ready to go is Jefferson himself.

"I'm the main person that's going to make the decision," Jefferson said Thursday. "I'm the person that's going out there running, I'm the person that's putting my body on the line to win games and do things for this organization. I know how I feel, I know how my hamstring's feeling. We're going to weigh in on all of the different opinions and what everyone has to say, but at the end of the day, I'm the one that's going out there."

After starting the season 1-4, the Vikings have reeled off five straight wins and sit in second place in the NFC North. There's been one big change since Jefferson went out and that's who will be throwing him the ball when he returns. Kirk Cousins is done for the season with a torn Achilles and the team traded for Josh Dobbs, who has thrown for 426 yards, with three touchdowns and zero interceptions in two winning starts.

The Vikings have a favorable schedule over the next few weeks with the Broncos, Bears and Las Vegas Raiders, and the Joe Burrow-less Cincinnati Bengals after their bye week. The NFC North title could come down to the final weeks of the season when they face the Detroit Lions in Weeks 16 and 18, hopefully with a healthy Jefferson on the field.