Breaking down the Minnesota Vikings wide receiver situation

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) Adam Thielen
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) Adam Thielen /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings. /

Is Adam Thielen ready to be elite—again?

Since breaking into the starting lineup in 2016, Adam Thielen has been the Vikings’ most effective pass catcher. From 2016 to 2018, he led the team in receiving yards. His back-to-back 1000-yard seasons were the first since Randy Moss strung together six seasons from 1998 to 2003. His 1,373 receiving yards in 2018 were the most by a Vikings’ receiver since Moss amassed over 1,600 yards in 2003.

Thielen opened the 2018 season with an NFL record eight-straight games with 100 receiving yards. He finished the season with career-highs with 113 receptions, 1,373 yards, and nine touchdowns.

From 2014 through 2018, Thielen played in every regular-season game. Starting out as a special teams player the first two seasons before breaking into the offense as a starter. A very durable player in his career, Thielen missed six games last season due to a hamstring injury. The injury limited him to only 418 receiving yards.

Thielen will be turning 30 in August. Hopefully, his career can continue to mirror that of another Vikings’ great: Cris Carter.

Like Thielen, Carter only had two 100-yard seasons before age 30. After 30, he rattled off six straight, with an average of 1,188 yards per season and three times led the NFL in touchdown receptions.

If the Minnesota Vikings are to succeed in 2020, they will need Thielen at his best.