Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen is the team's 2022 nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.

Players voted to nominate Thielen in light of the work his foundation has done for youth development in Minnesota since its inception in 2018. The Thielen Foundation, which the wide receiver started with his wife, Caitlin, has donated more than $2.5 million in the past four years, including a $1 million gift in October to eight different Twin Cities organizations.

The Thielen Foundation also began a Change-Thru-Sport program in 2020, which started with the organization renovating the weight room and repairing the stadium lights at Brooklyn Center High School. The foundation's partnership with the Salvation Army's Pathway of Hope program is now in its fourth year, providing Christmas gifts and financial assistance for things like school tuition, utilities or computers for five to 10 families each year.

"It's such an honor especially when you're voted on by your peers and teammates," said Thielen, who was honored in a reception at the team's facility on Monday. "It's just so cool to have them vote me for this award and not only me but also my wife, our foundation and what we're trying to do.

"The greatest thing about it is the guys who are voting for it, are also the guys who are helping me out at a lot of these events to raise money to help this community as much as we possibly can. It makes it that much more special when your teammates are nominating you for the award and I am so thankful to be named the Vikings 2022 Walter Payton Man of the Year."

The Minnesota State Mankato product, who signed with the team after a tryout at rookie camp in 2013, spent a year on the practice squad and didn't become a starting wide receiver until 2016, is now third in team history with 520 receptions, tied for third with 52 receiving touchdowns and fourth in yards with 6,546.

Thielen and the NFL's other 31 nominees for the league's highest off-field honor will wear commemorative patches on their uniforms for the rest of the season. The league will announce the winner of the 2022 award at the NFL Honors on Feb. 9, three days before Super Bowl LVII in Arizona.

"Adam and Caitlin's commitment and willingness to give back and serve Minnesotans through the Thielen Foundation is truly inspiring," Vikings owner/president Mark Wilf said in a statement. "We are proud of Adam for the impact he has made on the community and he is the best representation of what the Minnesota Vikings should stand for. We cannot thank him enough for his commitment to the organization, to the Twin Cities and to the entire state of Minnesota. He's extremely deserving to be our 2022 nominee for this impressive honor."