Vikings activating WR Justin Jefferson from injured reserve

Justin Jefferson is back.

The Minnesota Vikings announced Tuesday that they're activating their All-Pro wide receiver from injured reserve. Jefferson has been sidelined since Week 5 with a hamstring injury.

A three-time All-Pro in his three NFL seasons and last year's Offensive Player of the Year, Jefferson is arguably the NFL's best receiver. His return is a boon to a Vikings team fighting to remain in playoff contention.

Jefferson will have another week to get up to speed with the Vikings on bye in Week 13. He'll presumably return to the lineup for Minnesota's Week 14 game against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Can Justin Jefferson help a Vikings team in flux to remain in playoff contention? (Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Can Justin Jefferson help a Vikings team in flux to remain in playoff contention? (Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Jefferson returns to a team with quarterback questions in the aftermath of Kirk Cousins' season-ending Achilles injury. Joshua Dobbs has started in Minnesota's last four games following a trade from the Arizona Cardinals. But he struggled in a four-interception performance in Monday's loss to the Chicago Bears, prompting head coach Kevin O'Connell to acknowledge that he would consider a quarterback change during the bye week.

Backup Nick Mullens and rookie Jaren Hall are the other options at quarterback. Jefferson's return will benefit whomever's under center.

Prior to the injury, Jefferson was playing at an All-Pro pace, averaging 114.2 yards per game. Rookie Jordan Addison has emerged as one of the league's best young receivers in his absence with 687 yards and seven touchdowns in 12 games. The Vikings legitimately boast one of the game's best receiving tandems and have a Pro Bowler at tight end in T.J. Hockenson.

At 6-6, the Vikings are very much in the playoff picture and would be in the postseason if it started this week despite the injuries to Cousins and Jefferson. They have remaining games against the Raiders, Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers and two against the NFC North-leading Detroit Lions.