Vikings star Justin Jefferson misses seventh straight game.

JUST NOW: A Vikings star has just been missed.

The plan has always been to get star receiver Justin Jefferson back to 100% before he returned to the field. That meant not cutting any corners during the recovery process. No matter what.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that the Vikings decided not to activate Jefferson from injured reserve before hosting the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football.

Though he has slowly started to ramp things up in practice over the past couple of weeks, Jefferson is still in the final stages of rehabbing his hamstring injury, and the Vikings ultimately decided to err on the side of caution with their best player.

This is the seventh straight game Jefferson has missed for the Vikings since hobbling to the sidelines on Oct. 8 during a home loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. He’s watched his team go 5-1 in his absence (not including the primetime game between the Vikings and Bears) to get themselves back into the playoff picture.

There seemed to be some optimism last week that Jefferson might be able return on Monday Night Football considering he told reporters that he’s back to running at full speed.

Even head coach Kevin O’Connell joked that he thought Jefferson looked pretty good while practicing at TCO Performance Center.

It’s something where, I see Justin Jefferson steps on a football field, he’s going to look ready to go,” O’Connell said while deferring to the medical staff led by Tyler Williams and Uriah Myrie.

“I’m lucky I don’t have to make that call. My role in this is making sure the communication between the medical staff, our trainers, Justin and myself is top notch and everybody’s on the same page minute to minute as he takes more and more reps like he has. We feel like we’re in a good spot on that.”

The fact that the Vikings are approaching their bye week likely played a role in the decision. It always made sense to give Jefferson some extra time to work his way back to full strength.

He’s expected to be at 100% and return to the field when the Vikings play the Las Vegas Raiders after the bye week.

Evans inactive

After being listed as questionable with a calf injury, cornerback Akayleb Evans was ruled out by the Vikings before the primetime game against the Bears.

It’s the second straight game Evans has missed after he was also ruled out last week before the Vikings suffered a road loss to the Denver Broncos.

The other inactives for the Vikings included quarterback Jaren Hall, tight end Nick Muse, linebacker Nick Vigil, offensive guard Chris Reed and offensive tackle Hakeem Adeniji.

Cine active

Notably, safety Lewis Cine was active for the Vikings against the Bears. He had been a healthy scratch this month with his last action coming when he suited up on Oct. 29 in a road win over the Green Bay Packers.

He was not expected to play any snaps on defense with his reps coming exclusively on special teams.


Not surprisingly, the Vikings elevated veteran linebacker Anthony Barr from the practice squad for the second straight week. He was expected to rotate in with rookie linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. serving as the starter.

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