Preseason Game 1: Five Minnesota Vikings Who Helped Themselves

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Jul 25, 2014; Mankato, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) leaves the field at training camp at Minnesota State University. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

5. Adam Thielen

If there was a single star Friday night for the Vikings it was Adam Thielen. The former Minnesota State Mankato receiver is getting plenty of run this camp thanks to his local connection, but Thielen’s play on the practice field and now in an actual preseason game is proving that he’s more than just a human interest story.

Thielen got it done in multiple areas Friday night, showing his skills as a receiver in Norv Turner’s offense, flashing some unexpected proficiency as a punt returner in place of the injured Marcus Sherels and, perhaps most impressively, taking down a Raiders punt returner with a very physical solo tackle.

Shades of Chris Walsh? Pete Bercich went there during the radio-TV simulcast and I think it’s not completely unwarranted. Walsh made a name for himself as a hard-nosed special teamer and occasional receiver and Thielen has a chance to do the same.

But I think Thielen actually has the potential to go beyond Walsh territory and be a legitimate contributor on offense. Before it’s over, he may be the #3 receiver for Norv Turner. That would be quite a story.

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