Vikings place Justin Jefferson on IR with hamstring injury, WR to miss at least 4 games

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson is officially on injured reserve, according to a Wednesday announcement from the team. He has never missed a game in his career, but will now miss at least four as he works his way back onto the field.

Jefferson strained his right hamstring in the fourth quarter of a 27-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. He slipped on the turf at U.S. Bank Stadium while running a route and didn't return.

Injury designation was the likely outcome for the 24-year-old, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Tuesday. Quarterback Nick Mullens joins Jefferson on injured reserve.

Five games into his fourth NFL season, Jefferson has notched 36 catches for 571 yards and three receiving touchdowns in 2023. His catches are tied for sixth in the NFL and scores are tied for fifth.

He tied the NFL record for fastest receiver to 5,000 yards during a Week 2 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, and leads the NFL with 164 catches and 2,380 yards since 2022.

Ideally, Jefferson will be recovered in time to face the New Orleans Saints in Week 10.

In his absence, Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins and the Vikings will look to their first-round draft pick, Jordan Addison, who has performed well in the team's 1-4 start. The Vikings also activated wideouts N'Keal Harry and Trishton Jackson to the 53-man roster.

The Chicago Bears, who are also 1-4, host the Vikings in Week 6. Both teams are in dire need of another win, and Chicago's recent 40-20 doubling of the Washington Commanders seemingly gives them some momentum.

As trade rumors surrounded Jefferson and the Vikings in Week 3, the receiver made it clear he is focused on this season with the team that drafted him 22nd overall out of LSU.

"I'm tired of people saying that we're looking into next season or all of the trades and stuff like that," Jefferson said. "We're focused still on this season. We have a lot more games to go and we have a lot more things to accomplish this season. We're still focused in, and we still have the same goal as we had before the season. We just need to fix a few things and I feel like we'll be back on track."