NFL

Thielen expected to miss Week 12 vs. Panthers

Adam Thielen remains on the Vikings’ reserve/COVID-19 list, and the NFL’s touchdown reception leader is not on track to be activated ahead of Minnesota’s next game.

The Vikings are expected to be without Thielen on Sunday, according to ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler (on Twitter). Given the timing of Thielen landing on the Vikes’ coronavirus list (Monday), the veteran wide receiver would have been able to return Sunday — provided he continued to test negative. But this has been one of the vaguer virus situations to emerge.

No Thielen positive coronavirus test has been reported, but this situation would point to it. Several players have landed on the virus list early in the week only to be cleared for Sunday games. Thielen missing would obviously weaken the Vikings against the Panthers, though the team can rely on Justin Jefferson and All-Pro candidate Dalvin Cook.

Thielen has caught a career-high 11 touchdown passes and has not missed a game this season. Prior to this COVID-19 issue, the 30-year-old wideout has used the season as a comeback effort of sorts. Thielen missed all or most of seven games last season due to a hamstring injury. The Vikings, though, were prepared to rely on their former tryout-camp find this year after trading Stefon Diggs to the Bills. As was the case last season, the team is thin at wideout beyond its starters. Sunday’s game is obviously critical for the 4-6 team’s last-ditch playoff hopes.

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