Minnesota Vikings Finally Activate Wide Receiver Justin Jefferson

The Minnesota Vikings finally have their biggest star back in the fold. The team officially activated wide receiver Justin Jefferson from injured reserve, indicating he should be ready to make his long-awaited return following their Week 13 bye.

Jefferson has been unavailable since injuring his hamstring in the Vikings' Week 5 27-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. He had been his typically dominant self through the early portion of the season, averaging 114.2 receiving yards per game through his first five starts.

The Vikings have flirted with returning Jefferson to game action over the past couple of weeks, but they've elected to play the long game by preserving their transcendent superstar. It has cost them. They've narrowly lost their last two games by a combined three points and fallen to 6-6.

Those losses are hard to swallow for a team in the playoff hunt, but the Vikings are wise to take the long view with Jefferson. Still only 24 years old, he's now eligible for his first extension since being drafted 22nd overall in 2020. He's certain to earn a record-breaking contract, and it behooves Jefferson and the Vikings to protect that investment.

Still, the Vikings may very well have their cake and eat it too. They're still in pole position for a Wildcard spot, and Jefferson could single-handedly level up the offense. Tight end T.J. Hockenson and rookie wide receiver Jordan Addison have upped their games in Jefferson's absence, combining for 969 yards over the last seven games. If Jefferson doesn't eat into that production, the Vikings may very well have the deadliest trio of pass catchers in the league. 

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