The Minnesota Vikings are trying to put a game plan together for their Thursday night matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but they'll have to do it without wide receiver Adam Thielen and, potentially, running back Dalvin Cook as well.
Vikings officially ruled out WR Adam Thielen for Thursday night’s game vs. the Steelers and listed RB Dalvin Cook as questionable.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 8, 2021
Thielen only played one offensive series before he suffered a high ankle sprain in last weekend's 29-27 loss to the Detroit Lions. While the WR's absence opened the door for Justin Jefferson to log a career-high 182 receiving yards on 11 catches, Minnesota would surely feel better going into Thursday's game with a healthy Thielen in the mix.
Cook did not play in last weekend's loss to the Lions after sustaining a shoulder injury the previous week against the San Francisco 49ers. NFL.com reported Cook was a non-participant in practice on Monday but was upgraded to a limited participant Tuesday and Wednesday.
Even if Cook is good to go on Thursday, the Vikings will have their hands full containing the visiting Steelers. Even though Pittsburgh is dealing with its own share of injuries, Minnesota has had a habit this season of conceding plenty of points. Without Thielen for Kirk Cousins to regularly target in the end zone, Thursday's game looks to be an uphill battle for the home team.