The Minnesota Vikings registered a huge, 26-20 overtime victory over the New Orleans Saints to advance to the divisional round, but two of their most important offensive weapons could be dealing with issues when they take the field in San Francisco to take on the 49ers this Saturday.
Wide receiver Stefon Diggs missed two practice sessions this week with an illness, while fellow wideout Adam Thielen was added to the injury report on Wednesday with an ankle injury. According to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer is optimistic that Diggs will be fine for Saturday, and that he's just "sick." Sure enough, Diggs returned to practice on Thursday, and did not have an injury designation for the divisional round matchup.
Diggs caught two passes for 19 yards on Sunday, but both were big catches that resulted in first downs on scoring drives. He also rushed two times for eight yards.
As for Thielen's ankle injury, Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network reported on Thursday morning that the Vikings' other top wideout needed stitches for a bad cut he suffered on his ankle during practice on Wednesday. The initial prognosis was reportedly encouraging when it came to his chances of playing on Saturday, but the Vikings are still gathering information and will proceed with caution.
"Yeah, you know how it is," Thielen said during a Thursday morning appearance on "Good Morning Football." "I just got a little tangled up in practice but I'm going to do whatever it takes -- it's playoffs. I'll do whatever it takes to be out there on Saturday with my teammates and try to help this team win."
After practice on Thursday, the Vikings announced that Thielen is considered questionable for Saturday's matchup, while cornerback Mackensie Alexander is out and safety Jayron Kearse is considered doubtful.
The two-time Pro Bowl wideout played a big role for the Vikings in the win over the Saints last week, as he caught a team-high seven passes for 129 yards. He rebounded from fumbling on the opening drive of the game to catch a 43-yard pass in overtime which got Minnesota down to the 2-yard line. Three plays later, Kirk Cousins hit tight end Kyle Rudolph in the corner of the end zone for the game-winning score.