Adam Thielen made the type of catch that the Minnesota Vikings and quarterback Kirk Cousins have gotten used to seeing — diving, laying out, bringing it in. But they saw something on Sunday in a 42-30 win over Detroit that is unusual: Thielen walking slowly off the field with an injury.
Over his five-year career on the active roster, Thielen has never missed a game. But after his diving catch, the Pro Bowl receiver got up slowly and did not return due to a hamstring injury.
“I just felt it and ran into the wall and when I got up I felt it,” he told reporters in Detroit.
The TV broadcast showed Thielen struggling to move around on the sideline and eventually standing with a Vikings cap on while cheering his teammates to a 500-yard offensive explosion. When the Vikings return to Minnesota, they will find out more about his status for Thursday night’s national TV game against Washington.
“I feel good,” Thielen said. “We’ll find out more tonight or tomorrow and go from there. Short week so just try to get ready for Washington.”
Asked whether he attempted to talk his way back onto the field after the injury, Thielen said that the training staff made the decision to hold him out.
“I always feel like I can play,” Thielen said. “At the same time I trust our guys and I trust their opinion and I’m just here to help this team win and do whatever they tell me to do and they have my best interest [in mind] and hopefully we can get it back and ready to go for Thursday.”
In his place the Vikings got key performances from Stefon Diggs, Irv Smith, Kyle Rudolph and Bisi Johnson. Quarterback Kirk Cousins put together one of his best career performances, throwing for 337 yards at 9.9 yards per attempt.
“What an effort, I mean shoot, it was fun to be a part of just watching,” Thielen said. “A lot of guys being involved, the O-line playing unbelievable and Kirk’s performance. I haven’t seen…that was unbelievable. One of the better performances from a quarterback I’ve seen. Really fun to watch and hopefully we can build on this.”