The Vikings have placed star wide receiver Adam Thielen on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, the team announced on Monday afternoon.
As a reminder, this does not mean Thielen has necessarily tested positive for the coronavirus. Many players added to the reserve list have merely been flagged for potential exposure to an infected person.
Update: Thielen did have a positive test for COVID-19, but he also had a negative one, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. "The NFL and its medical experts are continuing to sort through that situation to determine his availability for Sunday."
"The reserve-COVID-19 list category was created for a player who either tests positive for COVID-19 or who has been quarantined after having been in close contact with an infected person or persons," says the NFL's statement. "If a player falls into either of these categories, their club is required to immediately place the player on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Per agreed upon NFL-NFLPA policy, clubs are not permitted to comment on player's medical status other than referring to roster status. Clubs may not disclose whether player is in quarantine or is positive for COVID-19."
The worst-case scenario for Thielen and the Vikings is that he tested positive, which would mean he couldn't clear the league's protocols in time to play in this Sunday's game against the Panthers.
The more common scenario is that he has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. If that is the case, Thielen may only need to spend a few days on the reserve list and could be cleared once he records the required number of negative tests.
Last Thursday, Vikings fullback C.J. Ham was placed on the Reserve/COVID list. He was activated on Saturday, just two days later. A few weeks earlier, Cameron Dantzler was on the list for just three days.
If Thielen is able to be activated in just two or three days, he wouldn't have to miss too much practice time. The Vikings will practice on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday this week before taking on the Panthers at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday.
Thielen caught seven passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns in the Vikings' loss to the Cowboys. He leads the NFL with 11 receiving touchdowns, ten of those coming from within the red zone, and is Pro Football Focus' No. 3-graded receiver this season.
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