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Adam Thielen remains on COVID-19 reserve list, won’t play against Panthers

Adam Thielen
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen runs up field during an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

The Vikings will try to bounce back from a loss last Sunday against Dallas, minus one of their most important players.

Adam Thielen, who caught eight passes for a season-high 123 yards and two touchdowns vs. Dallas, remains on the COVID-19 reserve list and will not play against Carolina on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium. Thielen will miss his first game of the season. He leads the Vikings with 49 catches for 646 yards and 11 touchdowns. His TD reception total leads the league. Thielen was placed on the COVID-19 reserve list last Monday.

With Thielen out, the Vikings have Tajae Sharpe active for the first time since Week 2. Bisi Johnson will be elevated to the Vikings’ second wide receiver behind rookie standout Justin Jefferson.

The Vikings also will be without tight end Irv Smith Jr., who will miss a game for the second time in three weeks, and is dealing with a back and groin issue. The Vikings’ shakeup on special teams also continues. Long snapper Austin Cutting is inactive for the second consecutive game and return man K.J. Osborn also won’t play. Cutting has been replaced by Andrew DePaola, who made his Vikings debut last Sunday.