Justin Jefferson May Not Return This Season If Playoffs Are Out Of Reach

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Minnesota Vikings
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings will play against the Chicago Bears on Sunday afternoon and their superstar wide receiver, Justin Jefferson will not be on the field, after suffering a severe hamstring sprain in last week’s loss the the Kansas City Chiefs.

Head coach Kevin O’Connell told reporters this week that the team is expecting Jefferson back before the end of the season, but Adam Schefter (ESPN) filed an insider report on Saturday that puts those plans into major limbo.

Related: With Justin Jefferson Out, Who Will Step Up for Vikings… and Who Won’t?

Justin Jefferson may not return if Vikings keep losing

According to Schefter, JJ plans to be back in 4-6 weeks, depending on how the MRI goes at the 4-week mark, when he is eligible to come off IR. But, if the Vikings are not in the playoff race, when Jefferson is able to return, the 24-year-old phenom would have to weigh out the risks associated with getting back on the football field, before he has a new record-breaking contract signed.

Doctors believe Justin Jefferson‘s hamstring injury will sideline the Minnesota Vikings star for four to six weeks, and the All-Pro receiver will undergo imaging tests in four weeks to help determine when he can return, sources told ESPN.

If the Vikings are unable to remain competitive, Jefferson would be expected to consider the reality that he and the organization did not come to an agreement on a long-term contract extension before this season. The deal likely would have made Jefferson the highest-paid non-quarterback offensive player in NFL history, and his price is not expected to drop.

As competitive as Jefferson is and as much as he would like to be there for his team, he will have to ask himself whether a return this season is worth the risk of long-term injury if the Vikings have fallen out of the playoff race.

Adam Schefter – ESPN

Minnesota Vikings will have to turn their season around or give JJ an extension

Related: Minnesota Vikings Organizational Future Will Be Decided Sunday vs Bears

The Minnesota Vikings were right on the verge of signing Justin Jefferson long term, right before the season started, when they decided to table talks, for the time being. Now, JJ is hurt and that money is in jeopardy. Thus, I cannot blame him or his individual team for putting this type of “warning shot” report out into the football hemisphere.

If Justin Jefferson is going to come back this season, at least one of two things will have to happen. Either, (1) the team will have to turn their season around, starting Sunday vs the Chicago Bears OR (2) they will have to complete their contract conversations and ink a long term contract that makes Jefferson feel comfortable getting back on the field.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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