It was an odd sight last Sunday to see former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen taking on his old team as a member of the Carolina Panthers.
As odd as it was for fans to see Thielen in a different jersey, it was even more strange for his former teammates to actually go up against him out on the field.
All-Pro Minnesota safety Harrison Smith was with Thielen during his entire tenure with the Vikings, and the veteran defender recently revealed on "The Pat McAfee Show" what it was like to face his former teammate.
"It is kind of weird when you get close with some guys. Like I've never hit Thielen, even though you practice against him all the time.
There was one play that we kind of got tangled up, his feet got tangled up, so I felt kind of guilty about it. But it's just part of the game. Guys move on."
Between the two of them in the Week 3 matchup, Smith easily had the best performance, as he finished with 14 tackles, three sacks, and one forced fumble. It apparently wasn't good enough for the safety to be named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week, but it was still impressive either way.
Thielen's performance wasn't terrible against his former team (seven catches for 76 yards), but he just didn't make enough of an impact to help the Panthers get a win.
Speaking of Carolina not getting a win, they are still searching for their first victory of the 2023 season. Thielen and the Panthers will see if they can pull off an upset on the road in Week 5 against an upstart Detroit Lions team.
As for Smith, he and the Vikings get to go from facing one of the most raw starting quarterbacks in the NFL in Carolina rookie Bryce Young in Week 4 to facing one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the league in Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 5.
Smith will also get to go up against another former teammate in Week 5 in running back Jerick McKinnon, who is currently in the middle of his third season with the Chiefs.