When you Google “Adam Thielen frustrated,” a link to the Minnesota Vikings’ team website pops up with the headline: “Thielen on offense: We’re just as frustrated as every fan.” The link takes you to a video of the Vikings’ star receiver talking after his team’s 16-6 loss against the Chicago Bears last Sunday. On Thursday, however, Thielen told the local press that the team’s frustrations were a media invention.
“I think the frustration is with you guys, it’s not us, we’re not frustrated,” Thielen said. “We’re going to work. If you guys watched practice today, we were flying around, we were having fun, and we were making plays. I think that’s a media thing more than frustration from us. After a game, things like that, you’re going to show frustration, but now we’re worried about New York, and we’re not frustrated at all.”
Thielen clarified his post-game comments on a podcast with quarterback Kirk Cousins in which the Vikings’ QB apologized for an overthrow early in the game. The apology made headlines in the national media as pundits debated whether Cousins should have gone public with an apology.
That was hardly the end of the use of the word “frustration” for the week.
Before Thursday’s practice, receiver Stefon Diggs, who issed Wednesday’s practice for “non-injury related” reasons, acknowledged that everything isn’t going smoothly.
“There’s a lot of speculation about me being frustrated, of course, being a receiver and wanting to have success, and wanting to win, If you want to win and you’re not winning of course you’ll be frustrated,” Diggs said.
Thielen said that Diggs’ absence at practice and subsequent press conference and trade speculation would not hinder the team’s ability to prepare for the New York Giants on Sunday.
“We’re all professionals,” he said. “We all understand that you’ve got to do your job and in this league you’ve got to prepare at a high level every single day, you’ve got to give it everything you’ve got every day to be able to be successful on Sunday’s. I think that’s been the mindset of everybody on this team and we’re coming to work and we’re getting better.”
The two Vikings receivers, who have widely been called the best duo in the NFL, have a total of 26 receptions between them. Last year they each went over 100 receptions. But this season the football has found itself more often in the hands of running back Dalvin Cook as the Vikings rank 31st in passing and second in rushing.
“At the end of the day you guys can post what you guys want for headlines and things like that, but internally in our locker room we don’t worry about that stuff, we just focus on ball and making sure we’re the best teammates and best football players we can to help this team win,” Thielen said.
Head coach Mike Zimmer would not say whether Diggs will play on Sunday.
“I’m hopeful that we score more points and we do whatever we have to do to win, I mean, seriously, I’m not worried about any of that other stuff. Let’s just go win,” Zimmer said.