3 Vikings players who could take a step backward in 2021

(Photo by Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Adam Thielen
(Photo by Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Adam Thielen /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Adam Thielen /

Adam Thielen – WR

In 2020, Adam Thielen was a touchdown machine. Thielen set a new single-season career-high with 14 touchdown receptions and all but one of these trips to the end zone happened inside the red zone.

Outside of his impressive touchdown total, the Vikings veteran receiver finished the 2020 season with 74 catches for 925 yards. Not including the 2019 campaign in which he missed a bunch of time due to injury, Thielen’s yardage total last season was the lowest he’s finished with since 2015.

Whether it’s been his body breaking down on him or Justin Jefferson overtaking him as the top receiver on Minnesota’s depth chart, Thielen’s performance has definitely been declining during his last two seasons.

Now, is he still capable of being a receiver who can finish with more than 90 catches and at least 1,000 yards? Sure, he still has the talent to do that.

But with him turning 31 in August and younger guys like Jefferson, Dalvin Cook, and Irv Smith Jr. expected to play significant roles in the Vikings’ passing attack next season, Thielen’s numbers experiencing a decline in 2021 feels like a safe bet to make.