The potential problems awaiting Thielen in 2020
There is going to be plenty for Adam Thielen to overcome if he is to get back to the level he is capable of in 2020.
With Stefon Diggs now with the Buffalo Bills, opposing defenses will not have to worry about the one-two punch which proved so vital for the Minnesota Vikings in recent years. Teams can now concentrate more on Thielen and throw more double-teams on him than he has ever seen before.
This potentially brings significant complications for the player, who does not possess game-changing speed and relies more on his football IQ and elite hands to get him results on the field.
If one of the other receivers steps up and manages to fill the void left by Diggs, it is going to help considerably. Until that point, there is an immense level of pressure on Thielen’s shoulders as the unrivaled No.1 passing option.
How he copes with that remains to be seen. There is also the question of his hamstring and whether it can withstand the heat of more targets and additional strain that will undoubtedly come next season.
Hopefully the time off will have done him good. But new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak will need to be wary of how much he puts on Thielen early on as there is no telling what long-term damage can be done if he isn’t 100 percent ready.
Thielen will be fully aware of the problems awaiting him in 2020 and will need to find a way of overcoming adversity without the presence of Diggs.