Source: Vikings Thielen (ankle) is expected to play

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Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen, who is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams due to an ankle injury, is expected to play, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter Saturday night.

Thielen is number two on the team with 64 receptions and 686 yards to go along with a team-high 10 touchdown catches. He has played in 12 of 14 games for the 7-7 Vikings this season and is not only a reliable goal in the end-zone for quarterback Kirk Cousins, but also a reliable third-and-long outlet.

Earlier this month, Thielen suffered a high ankle sprain during Minnesota’s 29-27 loss to the Detroit Lions. He injured his left ankle in the Vikings’ first offensive series when he was tackled by Lions cornerback Jerry Jacobs after catching a screen pass on third and 9th.

The width fell to the ground and ripped off his helmet before being cared for by athletic trainers. After a brief visit to the medical tent on the sideline, Thielen tested his injured ankle behind Minnesota’s bench, but never returned to the field. He was initially listed as hesitant to return, but ruled out early in the third quarter.

Minnesota is still alive in the NFC race after the season and can use as many offensive weapons as it can get against a stingy Los Angeles defense. Thielen returned to training on Wednesday for the Vikings and built up some momentum.

“Excited about this week and being able to get out here and move around a bit,” Thielen said at the time.

In his eighth season, all with Minnesota, Thielen, 31, has collected 461 catches for 5,926 yards. His next touchdown reception will be the 50th in his career.

“I feel really good about where we are,” Thielen said on Wednesday. “I have really good people around me who have really helped me. I think we are on a faster track than most with this injury, so I’m excited about it and the opportunity to get out here and just come back to play.”

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