Is Minnesota receiver Adam Thielen really 100% for Sunday’s NFC Championship Game? Probably not, but he’s going to play. He told people he was fine this week, even though he’s been limited in practice with a back problem.
Friday, he was officially listed as questionable on the Vikings’ injury report:
Shamar Stephen is ruled OUT for the NFC Championship with a knee injury. Andrew Sendejo, Adam Thielen and Mackensie Alexander are questionable. https://t.co/GufC5o1B6q
— Courtney Cronin (@CourtneyRCronin) January 19, 2018
It’s probably a Julio Jones-type of thing – limited all week, play through the pain in the playoffs.
Sendejo, the strong safety, is going through concussion protocol but expected to play after taking what I thought looked like a cheap hit from Michael Thomas last weekend:
Michael Thomas just laid out Andrew Sendejo. Scary hit. He lay motionless afterward. pic.twitter.com/Q1L8SwVQEb
— Eric Edholm (@Eric_Edholm) January 14, 2018
Alexander is the fourth corner on the Vikings’ depth chart and is dealing with a combination rib injury and illness.
As for Stephen, he got rolled up in the Saints win in pretty rough fashion:
Shamar Stephen injury pic.twitter.com/taR0T8B8QW
— Vikings Blogger (@firstandskol) January 14, 2018
Stephen was the main backup at the defensive tackle position behind Tom Johnson and Linval Joseph. He had been playing more than 35% of the snaps this year.
The fourth DT on the depth chart is rookie Jaleel Johnson, who didn’t see a ton of time at all, less than 5% of their snaps:
Jaleel Johnson played 41 defensive snaps in the regular season. With Shamar Stephen out, He could see over half that total on Sunday alone. (Stephen averages 24 snaps/game)
— Eric Thompson (@eric_j_thompson) January 19, 2018
That’s something to look out for.
I don’t know whether the Thielen thing has any legs, probably not, but just like FOX News, “we report, you decide.” It’s fair and balanced journalism from Crossing Broad.