As the 8-3 Vikings prepare to emerge from their bye week and embark on a stretch run that begins with the tall task of playing the Seahawks in Seattle, a key player has returned to practice after an extended absence.
Receiver Adam Thielen, who first suffered a hamstring injury nearly six weeks ago against the Lions, practiced on a limited basis on Thursday.
Thielen briefly returned four weeks ago, during a showdown with the Chiefs in Kansas City. He aggravated the injury and quickly exited, missing the rest of the Chiefs game and both games (Cowboys, Broncos) since then.
In his absence, the Vikings have relied on players like Bisi Johnson and Laquon Treadwell as the complements to Stefon Diggs. Tight ends Kyle Rudolph and Irv Smith also have gotten plenty of attention.
Thielen’s return would boost the passing game, but it’s better to wait and ensure he’ll be healthy for the postseason if there’s any doubt about his availability.