Tuesday, January 26

Vikings place WR Adam Thielen on reserve/COVID-19 list

The Vikings will be without one of their best offensive weapons for an uncertain length of time.

Minnesota announced Monday they have placed wide receiver Adam Thielen on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

The timing isn’t ideal. The Vikings (4-6) sit just two games back of the NFC’s final postseason bid as they prepare for a Week 12 matchup against the Panthers. Thielen, moreover, is coming off his best performance of the year, catching eight passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns in a loss to the Cowboys. He leads Minnesota in receptions (49) and the entire NFL in receiving touchdowns (11).

Depending on future test results, there’s a chance Thielen is back with the team before Sunday. If the two-time Pro Bowler can’t play, the burden would be that much greater on league-leading rusher Dalvin Cook and rookie sensation Justin Jefferson´╗┐, who has a team-best 848 yards receiving.

Offense has not been the primary concern for a Minnesota squad that opened the season 1-5 before rallying into playoff contention in recent weeks. But Thielen’s presence is perhaps more prominent than it was last year when the Vikings managed to win four of six games while the veteran wideout was sidelined by a hamstring injury. They need him back as soon as he’s available.