NFL

The Minnesota Vikings Have Lost Their All-Pro Offensive Star to COVID-19

The Minnesota Vikings are trekking through a disappointing 2020 season. The Vikings saw their playoff hopes take another crushing blow after falling to the lowly Dallas Cowboys in Week 11. Things have proceeded from bad to worse as one of their top offensive talents is out of the fold due to COVID-19.

The Vikings continue to stumble in the 2020 season

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The Minnesota Vikings have continued to stumble south in the 2020 season.

Minnesota took another discouraging step back after suffering a 31-28 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 11. The loss snaps the Viking’s three-game winning streak and makes a playoff berth more challenging to reach.

Despite Dallas’ obvious shortcomings defensively and their significant injuries offensively, Andy Dalton’s three touchdown passes and Ezekiel Elliott’s first 100-rushing yard performance of the season were enough to push them forward. Matters took another rough turn for the Vikings on Monday that saw them lose one of their best players.

Adam Thielen placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list

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The Minnesota Vikings saw their playoff hopes take a massive hit after their disappointing loss to the Cowboys.

Things took another disappointing turn on Monday as the team announced that star wide receiver Adam Thielen would be placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

There isn’t any clarity if Thielen tested posted or was in close contact with someone who has the virus. The announcement comes a day after he played in the Week 11 loss to Dallas. He posted a strong performance with eight catches for 123 receiving yards and two touchdown receptions. The outing was his second 100-receiving game and fourth time with at least two touchdown catches.

The 30-year-old has been a significant factor in the Vikings’ offense over the last few seasons. He has put forth a strong start to the 2020 campaign despite the team’s struggles. He has 49 catches for 646 receiving yards and a league-best 11 touchdown receptions.

Although things can certainly change in the coming days, Thielen will likely miss Week 12 action against the Carolina Panthers. There is a chance he could miss at least the next two weeks if he tested positive for COVID-19. Minnesota will continue to monitor the situation.

Massive void to fill with Adam Thielen out

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The Minnesota Vikings have just lost one of their best offensive talents for an uncertain timeframe.

Adam Thielen’s absence shifts the focus over to the rest of the Vikings’ wide receiver group. The obvious choice for Kirk Cousins’ next primary target is promising rookie Justin Jefferson.

Since moving past a nagging leg injury that hampered him in the early goings of the season, Jefferson has found his groove. The LSU product has put forth an impressive first year with 45 receptions for 848 receiving yards and four touchdowns. His production pace has him trajected to garner 72 catches for 1,357 receiving yards and six touchdowns.

Jefferson is making a strong early argument for the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. With Thielen out, he will have increased pressure as the No.1 receiving option. The opposing game plan defensively in the passing game will shift toward containing him, which will reveal how far along he is in his development.

The Vikings will also move their attention toward running the ball more with Pro Bowler Dalvin Cook. He has been a tremendously reliable factor, ranking second with 1,069 rushing yards and first with 13 rushing touchdowns. Cook has tallied north of 100 rushing yards in three out of the last four contests and is on pace for a career-high 1,710 rushing yards.

Minnesota will take a significant blow to their offense but possess other strong offensive talents to fill the massive void.