Adam Thielen Reportedly Expected to Return From Injury, Play for Vikings vs. Rams

Erin WalshDecember 26, 2021

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - DECEMBER 05: Adam Thielen #19 of the Minnesota Vikings looks on from the sidelines in the first half against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on December 05, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen is expected to return from an ankle injury for Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Rams, per ESPN's Adam Schefter

Thielen has been sidelined since injuring his ankle in a 29-27 Week 13 loss to the Detroit Lions.

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer told reporters after Week 13 that Thielen suffered a sprained ankle against Detroit. The two-time Pro Bowler went down on Minnesota's first drive of the game when he was tackled after catching a pass on third down.

Thielen has been Minnesota's second-best receiver behind Justin Jefferson, catching 64 passes for 686 yards and 10 touchdowns in 12 games. Jefferson leads the team with 89 catches for 1,335 yards and nine scores. 

Thielen has spent his entire eight-year career with the Vikings, though he didn't emerge as one of the team's top receivers until 2016. Since then, he has recorded two 1,000-plus yard seasons and had a career-high 14 touchdowns in 2020. 

When Thielen was sidelined, the Vikings turned to second-year receiver K.J. Osborn, and he did not disappoint. In Weeks 13-15, the 24-year-old caught 10 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns. He has 41 catches for 516 yards and four scores in 14 games. 

Thielen is returning at the perfect time as the Vikings, who are 7-7, need all the help they can get. While Minnesota has a 34 percent chance of making the playoffs, that number would jump to 54 percent with a win over the Rams.