Vikings activate RB Cook, place WR Thielen on IR

The Minnesota Vikings got good news and bad news on Wednesday. On the good news side, running back Dalvin Cook was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list, just a few days before they face the Green Bay Packers. 

Cook suffered a separated shoulder and torn labrum during the Vikings’ Week 12 game against the San Francisco 49ers, and had to miss Week 13. He was back for Weeks 14 and 15, but was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Dec. 23. Over the 2021 season, Cook has 226 rushes for 1,067 yards and six touchdowns. 

On the bad news side, the Vikings announced that wide receiver Adam Thielen has been placed on injured reserve, ending his regular season. He originally suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 13 against the Detroit Lions and missed the next two games before returning against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 16. 

Thielen had hoped to play through his ankle injury, but unfortunately aggravated it during the Rams game. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, he had ankle surgery earlier this week, leading the Vikings to place him on injured reserve. 

There are just two games left in the regular season, and Thielen’s injury further decreases the Vikings’ already slim chances of gaining entry to Playoff City. Even if he was healthy, it would be a tall order. They face the Packers in Week 17, and then the Chicago Bears in Week 18, and have to win both to even have a whisper of a chance at the playoffs. While the Bears may not be a problem, they first have to get through the Packers, one of the best teams in the NFL. Having Thielen would make an upset more likely, but far from guaranteed.

Receiver K.J. Osborn, who played for Thielen in Weeks 14 and 15, is likely to continue in that role for the final two games of the season.