5 Vikings players to watch vs. the Chiefs in Week 9

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) Harrison Smith
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) Harrison Smith /
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(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) Adam Thielen
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) Adam Thielen /

Adam Thielen – WR

Adam Thielen sat out the Redskins game last Thursday with a hamstring injury that he suffered in Detroit. While it hurt to not have him out there, the Vikings knew they could still beat the hapless Washington team without him, and that they did. The same can’t be said for the Chiefs, and all signs point to No. 19 suiting up this weekend, as he’s already been practicing with the team.

Without Thielen in the lineup, the Minnesota Vikings offense wasn’t the same. He’s been the big play guy most of the season, who also catches key passes that move the chains. The offense struggled at times to move the ball against the Redskins and especially petered out in the red zone.

Cousins seems to prefer Thielen when the Vikings get inside the 20, and without him a week ago the Vikings couldn’t convert and ended up settling for field goals. They won’t beat the Chiefs by sending Dan Bailey out there five times like they did last Thursday night.

Thielen back and hopefully healthy will give Cousins his favorite red-zone toy back. It will also open up things for Diggs and the rest of the offense as the Chiefs defenders will be closely watching wherever Thielen lines up.

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There is a good chance that this game on Sunday is a very high scoring affair. If the Vikings are going to keep up with the Chiefs, they are going to need Adam Thielen doing Adam Thielen things all game long.