More Bad News Arrives for Vikings’ Adam Thielen After Ankle Injury

Adam Thielen

Getty Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen reacted to Eric Kendricks being released on Monday, March 6.

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen exited the team’s 29-27 loss to the Detroit Lions with an ankle injury he sustained in the first quarter.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Thielen suffered a high ankle sprain and that it may not be a matter of if Thielen will miss time, but “how much time he’ll miss.”

“Vikings’ WR Adam Thielen suffered a high ankle sprain during today’s loss at Detroit, per source. He will undergo further testing Monday to determine how much time he’ll miss,” Schefter tweeted Sunday night.

Inside the Vikings’ Will Ragatz, replying to Schefter’s report, projected that Thielen and Dalvin Cook, who sat out in Week 13 with a shoulder injury, are both unlikely to be ready in time for Thursday’s primetime matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“Safe to say the Vikings will be without both Thielen and Dalvin Cook on Thursday night,” Ragatz tweeted.

A medical expert corroborated several NFL insider reports that have cast the same doubts of Thielen’s readiness moving forward.

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‘Potentially Season-Ending’

Adam Thielen – Ankle injury. Impacts his availability? A surgeon's take.Dr. Selene Parekh gives a surgeon’s take on Adam Thielen’s ankle injury that he sustained in the first quarter of Week 13. What are the possible scenarios in terms of severity and how long could he be out? Dr. Parekh breaks it down. __________________________________________________________________________ Video is sponsored by Artelon. Check out their website __________________________________________________________________________…2021-12-05T19:20:41Z

Fantasy Doctors weighed in on Thielen’s injury during Sunday’s game and outlined potential timelines for the star receiver’s return. Considering Thielen was shut down on Sunday and did not reenter the game, the injury appears to be more severe than a minor ankle sprain and could require surgery.

Dr. Seleme Parekh, a foot and ankle surgeon, said that if Thielen suffered significant ligament damage, he might need season-ending surgery due to his ankle rolling inward and his foot rolling outward when he fell to the ground.

After learning Thielen will undergo an MRI on Monday, Dr. Jesse Morse projected Thielen to miss at least three weeks and that his injury is “potentially season-ending.”

The results of Thielen’s MRI are likely to come sometime Monday or Tuesday.

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Empty Calories

The Vikings’ offense struggled to capitalize on opportunities in the first half of Sunday’s loss without Thielen and Cook, settling for two field goals and falling behind the Lions 20-6 at halftime.

Minnesota leaned on backup running Alexander Mattison, who racked up 90 rushing yards on 22 totes. Mattison also caught all three targets he saw, adding 34 receiving yards to surpass 100 yards from scrimmage — the third time he’s done so in as many starts.

Justin Jefferson racked up a career-high 182 receiving yards, catching 11 of 14 targets in Thielen’s absence. He was unsatisfied with the personal accolades when it came to losing to a previously winless Lions team.

“As long as we don’t get the W, it doesn’t matter what type of game I have,” Jefferson said in a postgame press conference.

Sliding to ninth in the NFC standings, the Vikings are two spots out of the last wild card entering the Sunday night game. Before the Lions’ loss, the Vikings had nearly a 50% chance at making the postseason, per FiveThirtyEight. Minnesota will likely have to win four of their next five games to make the playoffs.

That could prove difficult without the Vikings’ top red-zone weapon in Thielen. The offense’s impressive statistics were merely empty calories after settling for three field goals and failing three two-point conversion attempts.

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