Carlson, who had 32 receptions for 344 yards and started eight games after a fractured foot ended tight end Kyle Rudolph's season, had been listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals after he had experienced post-concussion symptoms Thursday.
Carlson had been cleared to return earlier in the week and was a full participant in practice Wednesday, but had to go through parts of the NFL's concussion protocol again after missing practice Thursday.
Carlson signed a five-year, $25 million deal with the Vikings in 2012 and restructured it after a disappointing first season in Minnesota. He reportedly suffered two concussions at Notre Dame, in addition to the three in the NFL.
Asked Friday if he had talked with Carlson about the possibility of moving on to life after the NFL, Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said, "We haven't had that discussion. But I'm sure it is one that we eventually will have."