Vikings WR Justin Jefferson (chest) says he'll play Saturday vs. Bengals

Justin Jefferson’s highly anticipated return to the field lasted just 13 plays on Sunday.

A violent blow to Jefferson’s midsection sent the receiver to a local hospital due to a chest injury. Luckily for Jefferson, he avoided a significant issue, returning to Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium in time to see his teammates pull off a 3-0 win over the Raiders.

Now, he’s ready to resume his comeback.

“I feel pretty good,” Jefferson told reporters Wednesday. “Just with the hit and the things that were going on after the hit, we kind of had to go into precaution and we had to evaluate what was going on with my body. It definitely was a tough period of time, of course, wanting to come back after seven (or) eight weeks and wanting to be part of the team, making plays out there. But with the situation and the circumstances that happened, I had to be taken out of the game.”

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The injury occurred in the second quarter, when Josh Dobbs threw a pass toward the middle of the field that forced Jefferson to extend to try to catch the ball, leaving himself exposed. Raiders safety Marcus Epps walloped Jefferson, who held onto the ball for a gain of 15, but was in considerable pain.

Jefferson told reporters he was taken to the hospital to be checked for broken ribs and possible internal bleeding. It ended up being what Jefferson described as an “inner bruise.”

Given time to recuperate, it appears as if Jefferson will be able to play in Week 15 for a Vikings team that certainly could use his contributions. He said Wednesday nothing is affecting him related to the collision, clearing his path to Saturday.

“This week is a new week and I’m definitely looking to have a great game,” Jefferson said.

The Vikings will undoubtedly need Jefferson in a pivotal game against the Bengals, who will welcome Minnesota to Cincinnati with an identical 7-6 record and similar playoff aspirations. With veteran backup Nick Mullens set to make his first start Saturday, he’ll be happy to know his team’s best pass-catcher will be able to suit up.

Jefferson and the Vikings take on the Bengals on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 1 p.m. ET on NFL Network.

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