Sports Spectrum Magazine Summer 2021

Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen's remarkable journey from undrafted to NFL stud

On Sunday, Vikings WR Adam Thielen caught 6 passes for 123 yards and a 65-yard touchdown reception to help Minnesota to a key win over the Los Angeles Rams 24-7.

At 8-2, the Vikings are atop of the NFC North and appear to be in the driver’s seat for the division title and a big reason is the play of Thielen.

Coming into play this weekend, the Mankato, Minnesota native was in the top-10 in both receptions and receiving yards and is on pace for 100 receptions and over 1,400 yards.

His journey to the NFL has been nothing short of remarkable.

Adam played his college ball at Division II Minnesota State. He went undrafted in 2013, but was signed by his hometown team and despite being released after the preseason, he was signed back by the Vikings and earned a spot on the practice squad the entire season.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FZdliO_RfE

In 2014, Thielen earned a spot on the active roster and despite seeing limited action as a receiver over the next two seasons, he quickly became one of the top special teams players on the team including being named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week in November of 2014, and Vikings Special Teams Player of the Year in 2015 .

But in 2016, he burst on the scene as a wide receiver and here in 2017, he’s become a stud.

Over the past 3 games, Thielen has caught 19 passes for 387 yards and 3 touchdowns and has his Vikings off to their best start in after 10 games since the 2009 season when Minnesota started 9-1 and finished just short of reaching the Super Bowl.

In a recent article he wrote for The Players’ Tribune, Adam shared how much he has appreciated the opportunity he has had to showcase his skills on the field in front of his hometown Minnesota fans.

“And it still hits me every time I go to my locker on game day and I see the Vikings jersey hanging up in my locker with my name on the back. I mean, I grew up watching this team, but never got to see the Vikings win a Super Bowl. I’ve witnessed the same heartbreak over the years that all Vikings fans have. The kick in ’98. The 2000 NFC championship. The Favre interception against the Saints. There have been so many great players and great teams for as long as I’ve been watching the Vikings, but we’ve never gotten over that hump and won a championship.”

Thielen and his wife Caitlin are believers in Christ, and have enjoyed the journey that they’ve been on the past 4 years, which has included the ascension of his play on the field and the birth of their son Asher in 2016.

“It was just such a special time for me,” Thielen wrote in the Players’ Tribune, “between what was happening on the field and at home. I was carving out a role in the Vikings offense, and my family was growing. My life was happening, and it was just an amazing feeling, like everything was coming full circle.”

Adam’s twitter bio says “God 1st.” Caitlin’s twitter page says “Christ follower,” and it’s that faith that she says keeps them going.

“It honestly makes me emotional because of how crazy it’s been. We’ve been so blessed,” Adam’s wife Caitlin told Vikings.com. “Our faith is super important to us; I think that’s what keeps Adam – and us as a couple – grounded.”

Keep an eye on Adam Thielen the rest of this season. Who knows, he may be playing in his hometown stadium in Minneapolis this February at Super Bowl LII.