Injuries: Adam Thielen (back) questionable vs. Eagles

The Minnesota Vikings hope to have their dynamic receiver duo on the field Sunday in Philadelphia.

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said Friday that Adam Thielen will be listed as questionable heading into Sunday’s game versus the Eagles.

Thielen has been dealing with a lower back injury this week. He was officially limited in practice on Thursday after sitting out on Wednesday. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that Thielen was on the practice field again Friday.

Thielen earned 1,350 receiving yards and 4 TDs on 97 receptions in 17 games, including Sunday’s 6 for 74 effort against the Saints — besting stud rookie corner Marshon Lattimore several times.

Despite the questionable designation, Thielen’s progress during the week indicates we should see him Sunday, barring a setback.

The running back, who had his best year as a pro this past season, is ready to be a bell cow. With Latavius Murray still under contract and budding star (who began jogging Monday, per the team’s website) expected to make a full recovery from an ACL injury, McKinnon spoke like a man Monday who sees the writing on the wall when it comes to his future in the Vikings’ backfield.


Nike Vikings #11 Laquon Treadwell Purple Men's Stitched NFL Limited Rush Jersey
Nike Vikings #11 Laquon Treadwell Purple Men’s Stitched Limited Rush Jersey

“I want to be the guy,” McKinnon, who’s set to be a free agent this offseason, told reporters, via ESPN. “I don’t put in all the work in the offseason to come back and be in this role . I appreciate the role. It worked out well, but I want bigger and better things for myself.”

While it might be easy for some in purple to justify McKinnon’s likely departure, given the way Cook looked prior to his injury and the way Murray ran as a change-of-pace back, McKinnon’s spark in Minnesota’s offense shouldn’t be understated.

He had career-highs in rushing yards (570), total touchdowns (five), receiving yards (421) and catches (51). He was one of the few Vikes to find success in the NFC Championship Game, leading the team in rushing and receiving yards.

“I felt like we were moving the ball OK, and then we had the interception, then we had the strip sack, the fumble, so it’s hard to overcome those when you’re on the road and play like that,” Zimmer said.

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One could see Zimmer reflect on the unraveling as he spoke at the podium, mentally piling up the miscues that spelled his team’s downfall. The coach’s team, known for and expected to adjust at halftime, withered in the second half, turning the ball over on downs twice and seeing another possession end by a tipped interception that fit the tone of the evening. An incredible, unlikely season was over as quick as a Skol chant inside the Mall of America.

The Twin Cities are now saddled with greeting the team that just decimated its own on the doorstep of football’s greatest stage, playing hospitable midwestern host to midnight green-clad fans ready for their team to do battle with the league’s reigning champion. All the while, they’ll have to struggle with the knowledge they were one bad evening along the Delaware River from it being their Vikings, who haven’t seen such a stage since the 1976  season.

“I love this football team. I love them,” Zimmer said. “They’re great kids, great competitors. I love how they go about their business. … We just didn’t get it done wholesale jerseys tonight.”

They’ll have two weeks filled with reminders, and many more after that to reflect on what went wrong and determine how a season that seemed destined for a Lombardi came crashing down in Philadelphia.