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Vikings WR Thielen out for the season due to ankle surgery

Minnesota Vikings wide receive Adam Thielen is out for the remainder of the 2021 NFL regular season after undergoing surgery on his left ankle.

Feb 3, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New England Patriots former player Ty Law before Super Bowl LIII against the Los Angeles Rams at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. RebilasMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings will miss a key player in their offense, as wide receiver Adam Thielen is ruled out for the remainder of the 2021 NFL regular season after undergoing surgery on his left ankle.

The 31-year-old is likely to need a month to recover from the operation, and has been placed on injured reserve.

Aggravated injury

He first sustained an ankle sprain in their 29-27 loss to the Detroit Lions and skipped their next two games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Chicago Bears.

The two-time Pro Bowler returned to the field in the Vikings’ 30-23 defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Rams, where he aggravated the injury.

Thielen caught 67 out of his 75 targets this season for 726 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Dim playoff hopes

With only two games left to play in the regular season, Minnesota’s chances of clinching a spot at the playoffs are further diminished with the loss of the receiver. With a 7-8 record, they need to win both games to have a shot at the postseason.

The Vikings head to Lambeau Field to face the Green Bay Packers this week, then end the regular season with their last game against the Chicago Bears on home ground.

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They may be able to manage a victory against the Bears, who have been officially eliminated from playoff contention, but they will be hard put to win against the Packers, who sit on top of the NFC.

With Thielen out, wide receiver K.J. Osborn will probably take his place. The 24-year-old stepped in as the veteran pass-catcher’s replacement in Weeks 14 and 15.

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