EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings on Tuesday announced they have activated Justin Jefferson to their 53-man roster, completing his return from Injured Reserve.
To make room for Jefferson, Minnesota (6-6) waived receiver N'Keal Harry.
Additionally, the Vikings released quarterback Sean Mannion from their practice squad.
Jefferson has missed seven games while rehabbing a hamstring injury he suffered in Week 5 against the Chiefs.
"It's definitely frustrating," Jefferson said last week. "It's tough to be patient and try and make sure an injury heals properly, it's definitely not something that I want to do, but it just comes with the game, trying to be healthy, trying to be 100 percent and just [taking] the safe route."
Minnesota opted not to activate the dynamic receiver back for its game against the Bears Monday in order to take advantage of this week's bye and give the hamstring that much more time for Jefferson.
"Justin was close to having a chance to going last night, but the best thing for him and for our team moving forward was to get through the bye and ultimately have him at 100 percent coming out of the bye as we take on the Raiders on the road," Vikings Head Coach Kevin O'Connell said Tuesday.
The Vikings went 5-2, even withstanding a season-ending injury to quarterback Kirk Cousins in Week 8, in Jefferson's absence, but the team will be excited to return the three-time Pro Bowler and 2022 First-Team All-Pro and reigning NFL Offensive Player of the Year.
Jefferson started his fourth pro season ablaze with 36 catches for 571 yards and three scores on 53 targets, good for an average of 114.2 yards per game that is even higher than his 106.4 to lead the league last season. He also led the NFL in 2022 with 128 receptions and 1,809 yards, topping Vikings single-season records respectively set by Hall of Famers Cris Carter (122 in 1994 and 1995) and Randy Moss (1,632 yards in 2003).
The Vikings have leaned heavily on rookie receiver Jordan Addison and tight end T.J. Hockenson in Jefferson's absence.
Addison has 54 receptions for 686 yards and seven touchdowns; Hockenson leads Minnesota with 80 receptions and 786 yards. He caught his fifth touchdown of 2023 on Monday night in a 12-10 home loss to the Bears.