Thielen had just one reception for seven yards on his only target in Sunday's win over Chicago.
Thielen's season ended with a dud, but it doesn't erase a breakout campaign that could make him the team's No. 1 receiver next season. He began the season buried on the depth chart and seen as little more than a special teams star, but he worked his way into the starting lineup and his role grew nearly every week. Thielen had 69 receptions for 967 yards and five touchdowns while playing all 16 games. He's improved each of his three seasons in the NFL and has shown both good breakaway speed and outstanding route-running ability.
Thielen was unstoppable Saturday and easily posted a new career high in receiving yardage. Showing no evidence of a neck injury from Week 15, his day was highlighted by a 71-yard scoring strike down the sidelines in the second quarter. Thielen had only scored three touchdowns prior all season though, and no more than one in a single a contest, so while he may have emerged as the
Typically, a cautious approach is followed with players only a few days removed from being ruled out of a contest, but Thielen's neck injury wasn't one of those circumstances. With a full allotment of practice reps under his belt Wednesday, he should be available for Saturday's game in Green Bay, barring a setback. Aiding Thielen's Week 16 prospects are an exploitable secondary and injuries to fellow wideouts Stefon Diggs (hip) and Laquon Treadwell (ankle), neither of whom participated in Wednesday's session.
Thielen (neck) said Tuesday that he expects to suit up Saturday in Green Bay, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
Thielen departed well before the conclusion of Sunday's loss to the Colts due to a neck injury, but as of Tuesday, he feels "fine" and will participate in practice, per Andrew Krammer of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Although his activity level won't be made official until the release of Wednesday's injury report, Thielen appears as if he'll attempt to wrap up the season on the field rather than off of it.
Any injury is worrisome for a player's well-being, but anything above the neck is especially so. Thielen's status will thus be watched closely in advance of next Saturday's divisional showdown in Green Bay. If he requires a respite, Cordarrelle Patterson and Charles Johnson should receive bumps in relevance.
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