Minnesota Vikings receiver Adam Thielen wouldn’t get into the specifics that led to him being placed on the COVID reserve list last week. Asked if he actually contracted the virus, Thielen replied, “I’m not going to get into the test results and everything.”
All the 30-year-old Detroit Lakes native offered from that standpoint was how “weird” it was being cooped up at home, rather than with his teammates at TCO Performance Center, or on the field at U.S. Bank Stadium.
“Just proud of my teammates for getting the job done and guys stepping up and making big plays,” Thielen said. “It was obviously different watching the game but fun to see them play their butts off and get a victory.”
Most people have seen the viral video of Thielen reacting to last Sunday’s comeback 28-27 win over the Carolina Panthers. As a lifelong Vikings fan, Thielen explained his passion for his team as a kid has transformed into a passion for his teammates as an adult.
“It definitely has a little different meaning when it’s my brothers out there playing,” he said. “It means a little bit more (now), and it was definitely nerve-wracking.”
Fortunately for Thielen, he won’t have to watch from afar this weekend. He returned to practice this week and is on track to play in Sunday’s home game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“I feel great,” Thielen said. “It was definitely nice to get back into the building and then back to practice, and definitely needed a couple of those practices to get back into the swing of things. It was good to be back full speed practicing.”
It will certainly be a boost for the offense to get Thielen back in the lineup. While the Vikings won without him last week, Thielen has 49 catches for 646 yards and 11 touchdowns so far this season, and the attention he draws on a weekly basis opens things up for other players.
It’s still unclear whether the time away will result in any rust for Thielen.
“Thankfully, I was able to work out last week,” he said. “I have a little home gym that I made and then I was able to run outside. It was nice enough weather where I could run, do hill sprints and things like that and stay in shape. It was definitely nice to get some lifting and running and get the body rejuvenated.”
Was it enough?
“I hope so,” he said with a smile. “We’ll find out Sunday.”