If you want one reason why Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins struggled in a 20-9 preseason victory over Arizona on Saturday, completing only three of 13 passes for 35 yards, you can look to the absence of wide receiver Adam Thielen, who was a healthy scratch.
And after the game, coach Mike Zimmer said that there’s no doubt this team will have to play with more urgency if it is to succeed this season.
Thielen undoubtedly will play a big part of that. Statistically, his first half last season was one of the best stretches of wide receiver play in NFL history. The undrafted Minnesota State Mankato product recorded over 100 yards receiving in each of the Vikings’ first eight games and totaled 925 yards on 74 receptions to go along with six scores.