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Justin Jefferson to play on Sunday versus Raiders

Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell has announced that wide receiver Justin Jefferson is off the injury report, making him active for their 2023 Week 14 game against the Las Vegas Raiders.

The Vikings placed the All-Pro wideout on injured reserve after suffering a hamstring injury in their Week 5 game versus the Kansas City Chiefs. Since players on IR typically miss at least four weeks of action, it’s the first time he sat out games in his NFL career.

Jefferson finished the game against Kansas City with three receptions for 28 yards. He started the 2023 season with nine catches for 150 yards versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He had 159 yards in Week 2 against the Philadelphia Eagles. The former LSU standout followed that up with seven catches for 149 yards and a touchdown against the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Vikings activated Jefferson on November 28, and he is set to play after 12 days. He has been one of the most dominant wideouts since Minnesota drafted him 22nd overall in 2020. He finished his rookie season with a then-record 1,400 yards and seven touchdowns.

Jefferson stepped up in his sophomore season, finishing with 108 receptions for 1,616 yards and ten touchdowns. Last season, he won Offensive Player of the Year after leading the league in receptions (128) and receiving yards (1,809).

The three-time Pro Bowler had 36 receptions for 571 yards and three touchdowns before the injury. In a recent press conference, he declared his goal of reaching at least 1,000 receiving yards this season.

Jefferson has a good chance of reaching that mark with five regular season games left, especially if he maintains his yards per game average (114.2) this season. He will need at least 429 yards or an average of 86 yards per game to reach that milestone.

He will take his first step in reaching that mark against the Raiders, a team ranked 13th in passing yards allowed per game (216.8). Meanwhile, those who retained Jefferson on their fantasy football rosters could yield good returns since the Raiders surrender 25.8 fantasy points per game to wideouts.

-Lance Fernandez

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