EAGAN, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer had no news to share Monday, Nov. 4, about Adam Thielen, the Pro Bowl receiver who missed most of Sunday’s loss at Kansas City because of a hamstring injury.
Thielen was questionable in the lead-up but started the game and was targeted once on the first drive, a pass that Kirk Cousins threw behind him near the left sideline. That was the end of Thielen’s day.
Asked when Thielen might return, Zimmer said, “I’m not sure, honestly. Whenever the doctors say he’s ready, he’s ready.”
Thielen was injured while catching a touchdown pass in the first half of a 42-30 victory at Detroit on Oct. 20, then sat out a 19-9 victory over Washington, a Thursday night game that shortened the week considerably.
It’s unclear whether Thielen will even be able to practice Wednesday when the Vikings begin preparing for Sunday night’s game against the Cowboys in Dallas. Hamstring injuries are notoriously difficult to treat; last season, running back Dalvin Cook was limited to 11 games by a hamstring injury that bothered him all season.
“They’re all different,” Zimmer said. Thielen’s injury, he said, “really wasn’t a bad hamstring when he first hurt it. Obviously, we MRI it and do all those things. But it really wasn’t a bad grade.”
Thielen has 27 catches for 391 yards and six touchdowns in eight games. Last year, he led the Vikings with 113 receptions for 1,373 yards and nine touchdowns.
Stefon Diggs leads the team in receiving this season with 38 catches for 710 yards and four TDs, but he caught just one pass in Sunday’s 26-23 loss.
The Vikings had to sit through film of Sunday’s loss with director’s commentary. It wasn’t fun.
“It was tough,” defensive end Stephen Weatherly said. “It was like a movie that you know the ending to.”
The ending was a 26-23 loss on Harrison Butker’s 44-yard field goal as time expired. The theme discussed by Zimmer, safety Anthony Harris said, was “plays that were left out there that could have changed the game, and just how we made it hard on ourselves.”
Two of those plays were long, fourth-quarter sacks by Weatherly and Harrison Smith that caused fumbles and threatened to derail the Chiefs’ winning drive. Matt Moore fell on his first fumble; the second, caused when Weatherly swatted the ball out of the quarterback’s hand, bounced right to Kansas City running back Damien Williams.
“You can’t affect the way the ball rolls,” Weatherly said. “I guess I should have lived a better life and got some more karma, right?”
Kirk Cousins took time after Sunday’s game to explain why he missed on several passes, including the first three of the game, thrown at wide-open receivers. He probably didn’t know Zimmer was listening.
“I happened to watch Kirk’s press conference after the game, and he gave up way too much information,” the coach said.
Cousins passed for 220 yards and three touchdowns without an interception, putting the Vikings up 23-20 in the fourth quarter. But he completed only 19 of 38 passes.
“It’s just footwork,” Zimmer explained Monday.