After making the 53-man roster this season, Adam Thielen has been primarily used on special teams, and has not been able to see the field on offense very often. Last Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, Thielen was put in as a wide receiver for six plays, the most since Week 10, and had one catch, his first Week 8.
Toward the end of the season, when a team knows it isn’t going to make the playoffs – such as the Minnesota Vikings – a coach might put in players that do not play as much in order to see what they have there. Head coach Mike Zimmer said that was not the case, and instead Thielen played because some players in front of him got hurt, or were winded.
No matter the reason as to why he was on the field more, Thielen was happy for the opportunity.
“It’s good, that’s my goal. I want to play on offense,” he said. “I want to make an impact on the offensive side of the ball, so it was nice to get some reps.”
While on the field, Thielen was able to take advantage of a blown coverage by the Miami Dolphins and snuck into the end zone with no defenders around him. This was a play that could have changed the outcome of the game for the Vikings, but they had to settle for a field goal on that drive instead of Teddy Bridgewater seeing Thielen on that play.
Thielen was not really sure what happened on that play. He doesn’t think he was Teddy Bridgewater’s primary target on the play.
“I don’t think I was his first read, and by the time he came back to me it’s too late for that,” Thielen said. “But, yeah, it was just one of those things where they may have dropped a coverage and it’s too tough to come back to something like that when you’re not the first read.”
The offensive line was having trouble blocking for Bridgewater on that play, and the quarterback was forced to scramble early. The rookie quarterback was only able gain to one yard on that play, and said that by the time he saw Thielen in the end zone it was too late to make an attempt to get him the ball.
He felt it would be safer to hold onto the ball than it would have been to make an unbalanced throw and attempt to get Thielen the ball.
“It was just one of those deals where you either throw the ball and get lucky or you live to see another down,” Bridgewater said after the game Sunday. “In that situation, once I was flushed out of the pocket I saw Adam wide open, but I was just thinking don’t force it, maybe just try to get a couple of yards and get a first down or live to see another down.”
Thielen said he went up to the quarterback after the play to tell him he was wide open, and even though they missed out on a big play he didn’t blame Bridgewater for not being able to get him the ball.
“Yeah, anytime you see something like that you are going to let him know, and the coaches,” Thielen said. “But, yeah, its just one of those things where it wasn’t he first read and it wasn’t his fault at all. But you wish you could have got it, but can’t change it now.”
For the season, Thielen has played in just over 13 percent of the offensive snaps, has only five catches and is still searching for his first touchdown as a receiver.
Thielen misses chance at first TD catch
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