Heavy on Vikings: Adam Thielen Makes Strong Statement on Final Year With Vikings

Seeing his role in the Vikings offense diminish throughout the 2023 season, Thielen thought maybe it was time to hang it up.


“I’d be lying if there wasn’t thoughts at some points of last season,” Thielen said, revealing that he considered retirement.



“But then, I just felt like I still had a lot to give to this game and I really prayed about it, I talked about it with my wife and just felt like I had a lot more to give,” Thielen, now with the Carolina Panthers said in a Wednesday news conference. “That’s not necessarily just meaning on the football field. That means from just being in that locker room. I just feel like God has got me in a locker room for a reason and it’s not just to go out there and make plays.”


Thielen’s faith and leadership have carried him to Carolina, where he’ll play host to the Vikings on Sunday in a must-win matchup between the two winless teams. His impact is evident beyond the locker room.



The Minnesota native leads the Panthers with 17 receptions for 200 yards and 2 touchdowns this season. After catching 11 passes for 145 yards receiving and a touchdown last week against the Seattle Seahawks, Thielen became the oldest player in Carolina franchise history to surpass 10 receptions and 100 yards receiving in a single game.


Adam Thielen Eager to Reconnect With Vikings


While Thielen maintained his workmanlike attitude that Sunday would be just another game of his 11-year career, he did not decline the excitement of seeing familiar faces.


“Yeah, I’ve been thinking about that since the schedule came out. Was excited that I get to play against Minnesota? Yeah. But I’m just trying to treat it like another football game; I know that’s very cliche to say,” Thielen said. “I’m going to take advantage of pregame… go say what’s up to everybody you know throughout the organization. I mean shoot, I was there for 10 years so a lot of relationships that I built that are strong relationships that I’m excited to go and see those people and say hello and thank them and tell them how much I appreciate them.



“Then when that whistle blows and I get between those lines, I’m playing football like I do every week.”


Kirk Cousins Speaks on Adam Thielen’s Impact



It’s been nearly six years since Kirk Cousins and Thielen were on the same field in different colors — and the last time Cousins remembered vividly.


“Last time I played against him it was 2017, didn’t go well for me. He had a big day,” Cousins said, referring to the Vikings’ 38-30 win over Washington where Thielen had eight receptions for 166 yards and a touchdown in 2017. “He’s great player. Always a beneficiary of that for many years. Carolina is excited to have him and he’s got a lot of good football left in him.


“We’ve got to contain him. I’ll always be pulling for him but, on Sunday we’ll have different interests for the first time in about six years,” Cousins said with a smirk.



Although Thielen is away from his home state, Cousins feels that his former teammate’s roots will always stay.


“He’ll always have an impact on this community. When he’s done playing he’ll still be here and be someone you’ll hear his name because he’s a person who will be around and making a difference,” Cousins said.

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