Adam Thielen and NFL deep threat are five words that don’t seem to belong together.
Then again, Thielen leads the NFL with five receptions over 20 yards. Take that, DeSean Jackson, three-time NFL leader in yards per reception, including last season (17.9).
Thielen isn’t slow, but he’s not considered among the league leaders in sheer speed, unlike Jackson, the Buccaneers receiver who is averaging 13 yards per reception through one game and will play Thielen’s Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday.
“The one thing about Adam, he’s a little bit like an outfielder,” Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said.
“I think he can judge the ball well. Some receivers don’t have that skill. When the ball is in the air down the field and … he doesn’t have separation … he has a way of being able to judge the ball and aggressively attack it with his hands.”
Bradford ‘good, better’
The official injury report says quarterback Sam Bradford was “limited” in practice. Last week, he was limited and did not play at Pittsburgh.
Coach Mike Zimmer was asked after Thursday’s practice how Bradford looked.
“Good,” he said. “Better.”
When asked if he felt better about Bradford’s chances of playing than he did the day before, Zimmer said, “Yeah.”
In other injury news, linebacker Anthony Barr (hamstring) was limited again. He played last week despite being listed as questionable with the same injury.
Meanwhile, cornerback Xavier Rhodes (hip), center Pat Elflein (ankle) and cornerback Mackensie Alexander (wrist) remain on the injury report but had full participation in practice.
33 picks for Winston
Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston has played 33 NFL games. He’s thrown 33 interceptions.
Game 34 is Sunday in Minneapolis. You do the math.
But it might not be that easy. Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards said the 23-year-old is making his biggest strides by being more careful with the ball. Winston didn’t throw an interception in last week’s rout of the Bears.
Asked where Winston has improved the most in Year 3 as a starter, Edwards said, “With his decision making. He wants to make all the throws. I think, the one thing he’s tried to do when you look at him through the preseason compared to last year is you can see him being a little bit more protective as far as the decisions he’s making. He can make all the throws, and he’s got the arm strength to make all the throws.”
Not like Walsh
Kai Forbath hasn’t missed a field-goal attempt in nine games as a Viking. But he has missed five point-after attempts. He pushed one in the opener against New Orleans and then pulled one at Pittsburgh.
Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer was asked if he was worried that the team might be heading down the same deteriorating mental path it did with Blair Walsh last season.
“Well, I think he’s a different personality,” Priefer said. “I think every kicker has a different personality. I don’t want to compare him to Blair or anybody else. I think he’s a mentally strong kid. Kai will be just fine.”
Josh Robinson, Pro Bowl?
Josh Robinson and Pro Bowl player are five words that don’t seem to belong together.
But the formerly embattled Vikings cornerback seems to have found a good home in Tampa Bay. He’s listed as a third-string safety, but he has made his mark apparently since leaving the Vikings for the Bucs last season.
“He’s a popular kid here,” Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said of the Vikings’ 2012 third-round draft pick who recorded 11 tackles in 16 games with Tampa Bay last season. “He’s one of our captains. Josh, shoot, I thought he deserved to be a Pro Bowl player on special teams last year. He does a fantastic job. He’s our flag bearer as far as special teams go.”