The Vikings appear to have open competition at wide receiver behind Thielen and Justin Jefferson, according to Lindsey Young of the team's official website.
Analysis: Jefferson may have eclipsed Thielen for No. 1 billing, but the soon-to-be 31-year-old shouldn't lose many targets to other wide receivers, as the Vikings again have shaky depth at the position. Last year's No. 3, Chad Beebe, caught only 20 passes in 14 games, and his competition this spring will come from Bisi Johnson and rookie fifth-round pick Ihmir Smith-Marsette. Despite being the ostensible No. 2 receiver in a run-first offense, Thielen shouldn't land too far from his 2020 average of 7.2 targets per game, with the Vikings offense continuing to run through him, Jefferson and RB Dalvin Cook.
Jul 21, 2021 11:12 AM EST
Thielen caught four of five targets for 57 yards during Week 17's 37-35 win over the Lions.
Analysis: Thielen was effective as the Vikings' primary red zone threat through the air in 2020, falling behind only DaVante Adams and Tyreek Hill in terms of touchdowns at the wide receiver position. Through 15 games, he also notched 74 catches for 925 yards on 108 targets. The emergence of rookie sensation Justin Jefferson as the Vikings' top aerial weapon in terms of yardage and catches will serve to dampen Thielen's fantasy prospects for 2021, but the veteran's nose for the end zone should go a long way in insulating his upside.
Jan 6, 2021 11:34 AM EST
Thielen brought in eight of nine targets for 97 yards and a touchdown in the Vikings' 52-33 loss to the Saints on Friday.
Analysis: Thielen led the Vikings in receptions and receiving yardage while tying Irv Smith for second in targets. The veteran wideout also notched Minnesota's final score of the evening with a one-yard touchdown grab with 2:10 remaining in the contest, Thielen's career-high 14th visit to the end zone on the campaign. The 30-year-old will head into a Week 17 battle against the vulnerable Lions defense needing 132 receiving yards to reach the 1,000-yard mark for the third time in his seven-year career.
Dec 25, 2020 5:13 PM EST
Thielen brought in two of three targets for 11 yards and a touchdown in the Vikings' 33-27 loss to the Bears on Sunday.
Analysis: Thielen would have had a second consecutive disappointing outing had it not been for his three-yard touchdown grab late in the first quarter, which opened the scoring on the afternoon for the Vikings. The trip to the end zone was Thielen's career-high 13th this season, with six of those coming in the last five contests. The veteran will look to continue that favorable streak at the expense of the Saints in a Week 16 showdown on Christmas Day.
Dec 20, 2020 2:09 PM EST
Thielen brought in three of four targets for 39 yards in the Vikings' 26-14 loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday.
Analysis: The shockingly meager numbers were some of Thielen's lowest of the season and came in the wake of a 20-241-5 line over the previous three games. The veteran wideout did come close to extending a streak of at least one touchdown catch to four games, but he was unable to come up with what would have been a spectacular one-handed catch in the right portion of the end zone. Thielen will look to bounce back at the expense of a Bears squad he rung up two touchdowns against back in Week 10 in a Week 15 divisional rematch.
Dec 13, 2020 2:14 PM EST
Thielen caught eight of 11 targets for 75 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 27-24 overtime win over Jacksonville.
Analysis: Thielen secured his 12th touchdown of the season from three yards out in the second quarter and finished second on the team behind Justin Jefferson in targets, catches and receiving yards. The two standout wide receivers have coexisted beautifully in a Vikings offense that flows almost exclusively through them and running back Dalvin Cook. Thielen should remain heavily involved in Week 14 against a Buccaneers defense that has been stingier against the run than the pass.
Dec 6, 2020 1:47 PM EST
Thielen has been officially activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
Analysis: The wideout, who missed the Vikings' Week 12 win over the Panthers, is thus in line to resume action Sunday against the Jaguars. Thielen's return will be a big boost to the team's passing game, with the 30-year-old having posted a fantasy-friendly 49/646/11 stat line through 10 contests to date.
Dec 2, 2020 8:51 AM EST
Coach Mike Zimmer said Monday that he expects Thielen (undisclosed) to be available for Sunday's game against Jacksonville, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
Analysis: Thielen missed last weekend's narrow win over the Panthers due to his placement on the reserve/COVID-19 list, and he's still awaiting clearance to rejoin teammates. The veteran wideout returned a positive COVID test seven days ago, though his subsequent results have come back negative. If Thielen is indeed cleared to return in time to face Jacksonville, he'll resume lining up as part of a lethal WR tandem across from Justin Jefferson.
Nov 30, 2020 12:23 PM EST
Thielen (undisclosed) won't play Sunday against the Panthers, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Analysis: The two-time Pro Bowl receiver had a COVID-19 screening come back positive Monday, but a subsequent result showed him to be negative. Thielen hasn't been able to clear league protocols in time for kickoff, meaning rookie breakout Justin Jefferson will likely be thrust into an even more prominent role against Carolina's 19th-ranked pass defense. Week 12 marks Thielen's first missed game of the 2020 campaign. He sat out six games in 2019 because of hamstring injuries.
Nov 29, 2020 8:35 AM EST
The Vikings don't expect Thielen (reserve/COVID-19) to play in Sunday's game against the Panthers, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: Thielen tested positive for the virus on Monday but had another test that came back negative. There hasn't been any definitive statement ruling him out, but the Vikings apparently are preparing for it to happen. Rookie sensation Justin Jefferson will be the clear No. 1 receiver if Thielen is out, with Bisi Johnson, Chad Beebe and Dan Chisena the top candidates to take on vacated snaps.
Nov 27, 2020 12:30 PM EST
Thielen, who was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Monday after testing positive for the virus, tested negative a day later, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.
Analysis: The NFL and medical experts are continuing to evaluate Thielen's situation, as it's possible that additional testing may prove that his initial result was a false positive. In any case, Thielen won't be able to practice with the Vikings as the team begins Week 12 prep, prompting head coach Mike Zimmer to admit Wednesday that he was unsure if the wideout would be cleared to play Sunday against the Panthers, according to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Justin Jefferson would act as Minnesota's clear No. 1 receiver if Thielen is forced to miss his first game of the season.
Nov 25, 2020 11:58 AM EST
The Vikings placed Thielen (undisclosed) on the reserve/COVID-19 list Monday.
Analysis: Thielen's placement on the COVID-19 list is an indication that he's either tested positive for the virus or is required to quarantine after having come into close contact with someone who has. In any case, the star wideout's status for Sunday's upcoming game against the Panthers could now be in jeopardy. Thielen has four touchdowns over the last two weeks, so his presence would be extremely difficult for the Vikings to replace on offense, even with Justin Jefferson putting together a wildly impressive rookie season.
Nov 23, 2020 1:38 PM EST
Thielen caught eight of 11 targets for 123 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday's 31-28 loss to the Cowboys.
Analysis: For the second straight game, Thielen found the end zone twice, as he grabbed TD strikes of two and three yards from Kirk Cousins as the game opened up in the second half Sunday. Thielen also set a new season high in receiving yards, and his 11 scores through 10 games is already a new career high heading into Week 12's clash with the Panthers.
Nov 22, 2020 6:50 PM EST
Thielen caught four of seven targets for 43 yards and two touchdowns in Monday night's 19-13 win over the Bears.
Analysis: Thielen started the night with a spectacular, one-handed touchdown from 17 yards out. Although he subsequently dropped a pass that was intercepted, the veteran responded by scoring from six yards to give the Vikings their final lead in the fourth quarter. Through nine games, Thielen has topped 100 yards just twice, an amount doubled by rookie teammate Justin Jefferson, but his nine touchdowns have nonetheless kept him highly valuable. Considering in Week 11 he'll face a Dallas defense that's allowed 21 passing touchdown this season, Thielen should like his chances of another end-zone trip come Sunday.
Nov 16, 2020 8:36 PM EST
Thielen recorded two receptions on five targets for 38 yards in Week 9 against the Lions.
Analysis: The Vikings attempted only 20 passes in their victory over Detroit, limiting Thielen's chances for a big performance. Even with the opportunities given, Thielen had disappointing production as he converted less than half of his targets into receptions. On the positive side, he logged a 30-yard reception -- his sixth of greater than 20 yards on the season. Thielen will likely be in for a tough matchup in Week 10 against the Bears.
Nov 8, 2020 3:29 PM EST
Thielen caught three of four targets for 27 yards in Sunday's 28-22 win over the Packers.
Analysis: The Vikings' vertical game took a back seat to a huge performance by Dalvin Cook in this one, as the running back scored all four of Minnesota's TDs. Thielen did tie Justin Jefferson for the team lead in targets, and the duo should be more involved in Week 9 against a Lions defense that just gave up three passing TDs to Philip Rivers -- although none of the three went to wide receivers.
Nov 1, 2020 2:17 PM EST
Thielen hauled in three of five targets for 51 receiving yards and a touchdown during Sunday's 40-23 loss to Atlanta.
Analysis: The two-time Pro Bowler has racked up an incredible five TD receptions over the past four weeks, as well as seven total TDs through the Vikings' first six outings of 2020. Thielen has been held to fewer than 55 receiving yards on three occasions thus far on the year, but he's had a healthy workload of 8.2 targets per game, and opportunities should continue to be there with rookie Justin Jefferson attracting plenty of attention on the opposite side. He now heads into Minnesota's Week 7 bye before readying for a Nov. 1 showdown with the Packers.
Oct 18, 2020 4:27 PM EST
Thielen (shoulder) pulled in nine receptions (13 targets) for 80 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday's 27-26 loss to Seattle.
Analysis: Thielen abused a sub-par Seahawks defense with his elite short route running, finding the end zone from in close twice on precise zag routes that left his defender a step behind. The 30-year-old dealt with a minor shoulder injury earlier in the practice week, but it did not resurface or affect his game in any way Sunday. Thielen will look to add to an already-impressive tally of six touchdowns through five games when the Vikings take on a soft Falcons defense in Week 6.
Oct 11, 2020 9:08 PM EST
Thielen (shoulder) practiced in full Thursday.
Analysis: One day removed from logging a limited session due to a shoulder issue, Thielen handled every practice rep. With his health not in question for Week 5, he'll look to produce again Sunday against a Seahawks defense that has allowed a ridiculous 336.3 receiving yards per game and five touchdowns to wide receivers through four contests.
Oct 8, 2020 2:35 PM EST
Thielen (shoulder) was listed as a limited participant on Wednesday's injury report.
Analysis: A shoulder injury is to blame for Thielen's lack of reps, but being listed with LP next to his name generally is a positive sign for his upcoming availability. On the season, he has two 100-yard efforts to his name and has scored four TDs in four games, proving his standing as the Vikings' top wide receiver.
Oct 7, 2020 2:11 PM EST
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