Vikings begin transition of bringing Jefferson back; he`ll wait to play until he’s fully

Vikings begin transition to bring back Jefferson; he’ll wait to play until he’s completely EAGAN, Minn.
(AP) – Justin Jefferson began practicing again with the Minnesota Vikings this week, a major step toward returning to the field after a hamstring strain caused his first absence.
about his brilliant career.
In some ways, for the Vikings, it was as if he had never left.
The 2022 AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year has been a constant and energetic presence on the sidelines during games and in the building for meetings and visits throughout the week.
Coincidentally, the Vikings won all four games without him.
“I’m excited to be a part of this organization with so many people helping me on and off the field,” Jefferson said.
“I’m happy to be able to continue to be the leader of the team, where you can’t say I’m just sitting at home and worrying about trying to come back.
I want to be there to support my teammates and be there, practice.
It is not uncommon for injured players undergoing long-term rehabilitation to virtually disappear from the team’s weekly rhythm.
For a record-breaking superstar in his fourth year like Jefferson, who the Vikings have stuck with, however, part of what makes Jefferson such a rare player is their constant search for excellence.
and dominate.
He said Thursday that he never considered calling it quits for the rest of the season, even though the Vikings were 1-4 when he got injured.
FILE – Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson reacts from the sideline during the first half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Oct.
23, 2023, in Minneapolis.
The Vikings designated Jefferson to return from injured reserve on Wednesday, November 8, sending the 2022 NFL Offensive Player of the Year back to practice for three weeks to assess his readiness.
the sinews of his hamstrings.
(AP Photo/Stacy Bengs, File) “That´s a no brainer.
I´m always going to want to play football, whether we didn´t win a game or if we had won every single game,” Jefferson said in his first interview with reporters since Oct.
5, three days prior to the injury.
“I love the game of football.
I always say I want to be a Hall of Famer.
I can´t be missing games for the fun of it and just because we´re not doing well.
I know I have a big role in this season, and I know that every chance that I get to be on that field I want to make the most of those opportunities.
” Putting Jefferson on the field Sunday when the Vikings play New Orleans would “probably be a little aggressive,” coach Kevin O’Connell acknowledged.
They could keep him out three more games and bring him back after the Week 13 bye.
Or his return could land somewhere in between.
Regardless of the date, Jefferson said he won’t play until he’s fully healed.
“The hamstring is a difficult injury to treat because it’s persistent and sometimes recurs if you don’t treat it properly,” Jefferson says.
“I don’t want to play at 80 or 90 percent and risk getting injured again.
” The Vikings play on graded turf fields at U.S.
Bank, a type of artificial surface that the NFL Players Association has pushed to eliminate because it causes injuries at a higher rate than other synthetic surfaces used in the league.
Several teams have traded theirs recently.
The Vikings should do it

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