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Adam Thielen wasn’t thinking about back injury

Mike Florio and Chris Simms break down the Vikings' loss to the Eagles, including how the loss impacts Pat Shurmur's reputation in New York and the NFC East.

The Vikings didn’t get the game they anticipated from wide receiver Adam Thielen, perhaps because of a back injury that happened last week.

But Thielen refused to use it as an excuse for last night’s loss.

“I’m just playing football, I don’t think about it,” he said, via Andrew Krammer of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “I’m just trying to help this team win games. Obviously, I didn’t do enough tonight.”

Reports before the game indicated that Thielen was suffering from “slight” fractures in his back, likely to the transverse processes. Whether it was pain or the Eagles defense, he didn’t produce as they were accustomed to, with just three catches for 28 yards. He was targeted nine times.

He was also involved in a few altercations with Eagles defenders, with a few instances where he seemed to take offense to some rough treatement or rough language from Eagles defenders.

“That’s playoff football,” Thielen said. “That’s just what’s going to happen. You’ve got to be the guy who makes those plays to stop that. If you’re not making plays and they’re doing things to stop you, then they’ve got more ammunition. That’s really the only thing you can do is make plays, and we weren’t able to do that tonight.”

But the big-play threat he provided all season wasn’t there for the Vikings Sunday (among other things), and their offense wasn’t able to recover. Thielen was one of the bright spots of a brilliant season for the Vikings, catching 91 passes for 1,276 yards and 14 touchdowns. And now, he’ll have an offseason to get well and get ready to do it again.