After nine seasons in Minnesota, Adam Thielen’s time with the Vikings finally ended as they cut ties with the 33-year-old veteran wide receiver. Luckily for the veteran, he still has plenty of use in the NFL as he landed on his feet in Carolina, signing a three-year, $25 million deal.
The addition of Thielen to Carolina was smart play by newly hired head coach Frank Reich as he brought in a serviceable veteran receiver for rookie quarterback Bryce Young to rely on.
Heading into week one, Thielen’s status was in question due to an ankle injury, but it appears he is expected to play versus the Falcons, according to NFL Network’s Cameron Wolfe reports, per a source.
With Thielen set to suit up, it’s a sigh of relief for the Panthers and Bryce Young as the inexperienced receiving corps is already without DJ Chark (hamstring), leaving just Laviska Shenault Jr., Terrace Marshall Jr., Ihmir Smith-Marsette and rookie Jonathan Mingo.
Even though Thielen is on the wrong side of 30, he still put up solid numbers last season, as he had 70 receptions for 716 yards and six touchdowns in Minnesota.
Expect the 2023 No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young to rely on Thielen early and often to establish this offense as they are on the road against an NFC South rival.
Today’s kickoff will take place at 1 p.m. ET at Mercedes-Benz Stadium as the Panthers are +3.5 point road underdogs.