Vikings' Adam Thielen Diagnosed with Sprained Ankle After Suffering Injury vs. Lions

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVDecember 5, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - OCTOBER 31: Adam Thielen #19 of the Minnesota Vikings warms up \ at U.S. Bank Stadium on October 31, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

The Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen suffered a sprained ankle in Sunday's loss to the Detroit Lions.

Head coach Mike Zimmer confirmed the severity of the injury to reporters after the star exited in the first half and did not return.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported Thielen will undergo further testing on Monday:

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

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. Vikings have short week with Thursday night game vs. Steelers.

Despite this setback, durability has been a defining feature of the wide receiver's career.

Thielen dealt with a hamstring injury during the 2019 season and played just 10 games. It was the first time in his career he missed any time after appearing in all 16 games in each of his first five seasons in the league.

The health concerns prevented him from replicating his usually impressive numbers, and he finished the campaign with 30 catches for 418 yards and six touchdowns.

It was a far cry from his back-to-back Pro Bowl campaigns when he tallied more than 1,200 receiving yards in 2017 and 2018.

He bounced back in 2020 and finished with 74 catches for 925 yards and 14 touchdowns in 15 games and has followed with 63 catches for 686 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2021.

While the Vikings' aerial attack will likely be worse with Thielen sidelined, they still have Justin Jefferson as a No. 1 option. Look for K.J. Osborn, Dede Westbrook and Ihmir Smith-Marsette to see more targets as well, and it wouldn't be a surprise if the team relied even more on running back Alexander Mattison until Dalvin Cook can return from his shoulder injury.