Minnesota Vikings Pro Bowl receiver Adam Thielen is expected to start Saturday’s divisional round playoff game against the 49ers.
How much time he will spend on the field is an open question.
Thielen collided with a teammate during practice on Wednesday and his left ankle paid the price, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero.
A cleat from the teammate drew blood from Thielen.
“Blood was quickly present,” NFL.com reported, “and the immediate fear was that he’d torn his Achilles. While players showed signs of panic, the Vikings had a doctor on site who was brought quickly onto the field to handle the situation. When Thielen’s heel was sufficiently numb and the doctors were checking him out, the first thing he did was reach down and grab his Achilles to make sure it was intact. When he felt around and knew there was no tear, he felt relief.”
Thielen averaged 1,205 receiving yards and six touchdowns from 2016-18. He gained only 418 yards this season because of a hamstring injury that held him out of six games. He caught seven passes for 129 yards in the Vikings’ playoff victory over the Saints last weekend.
“Just trying to get as close to 100 percent physically as I can, and then let it ride,” Thielen told NFL.com. “We’ll see. We’ll find out on Saturday.”
Thielen’s ankle was a hot topic of conversation on ESPN’s pregame coverage Saturday.
“He’s been in a walking boot since Wednesday,” Chris Mortensen reported. He’s expected to play with extra padding and wrap and certainly they will monitor (him) during this game.”
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Reporting from Levi’s Stadium on Saturday morning, ESPN’s Dan Graziano said, “Vikings people I’ve talked to aren’t sure how much that’s going to keep him from maybe being 100 percent here today. He’s listed as questionable.
“Forty-Niners GM John Lynch actually joked, ‘I imagine it will be a Curt Schilling bloody sock situation.’”
Source:: The Mercury News – Sports