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Vikings' Thielen ready for MSU Mankato field farewell

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) catches a pass at Winter Park in Eden Prairie,Minn., in June at a mini-camp. Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

MANKATO — Adam Thielen was set to say goodbye Saturday night as a player at Blakeslee Stadium.

Thielen starred at Minnesota State, Mankato. Now, with the Vikings concluding their 52-year training camp run in Mankato, he'll take to the field for the team's annual night practice.

"I'm going to take advantage of it,'' the wide receiver, who played his high school football at Detroit Lakes, Minn., said Friday. "It is going to be my last opportunity to kind of like have a game situation at Blakeslee Stadium. I have got a lot of great memories in that stadium and hopefully I'll add to it.''

The Vikings will conclude their camp run Tuesday at Mankato before they move next year to the new Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center in Eagan. They will have walk-throughs at Blakeslee on Monday and Tuesday mornings, but not a lot of memories come out of those.

At the night practice, the Vikings will welcome back about two dozen notable former players. Among those on hand will be Chuck Foreman, Ahmad Rashad, Rickey Young and Doug Sutherland. Also scheduled to attend is Ryan Hoag, who was Mr. Irrelevant in the 2003 draft out of Gustavus Adolphus but never got into an NFL regular-season game.

Hall of famer Alan Page visited Friday and Jim Marshall on Thursday, but neither is expected to come Saturday.

"It's a sad day,'' Foreman said. "When you think of the Vikings, you think of Mankato. It's going to be a new beginning but there are so many great memories down here for all of us. I think the city is going to miss it, the fans will miss it, but then again they'll have a new spot in Eagan, so we'll see how that works out.''


In the battle among young receivers to make the roster, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said rookies Rodney Adams and Stacy Coley have "shown the most" so far.

With Michael Floyd suspended by the NFL for four games to start the season, Minnesota could have two open receiver spots. In addition to Adams, a fifth-round pick from South Florida, and Coley, a seventh-round selection from Miami, others in the mix are Isaac Fruechte, Moritz Bohringer, R.J. Shelton and Cayleb Jones.

"(Adams and Coley) have been the most consistent of the kind of down-the-line guys,'' Zimmer said.

Zimmer said "there's some things I like with" Shelton. He said Jones "started out strong'' but has "kind of faded a little bit the last couple of days.''

Coley, who rooms with Adams during camp, welcomed hearing what Zimmer said.

"I'm just going to keep pushing and keep competing,'' Coley said. "It's going to be real close.''

Between the two, Zimmer said Adams is "a little bit more of a shifty guy" and Coley is "a little bit faster.'' He said Adams has experience in the slot while Coley mostly was an outside receiver in college.

Adams and Coley are both competing to be the team's kickoff returner. Zimmer said how that goes won't be determined until preseason games.


Vikings tackle Riley Reiff and wide receiver Laquon Treadwell sat out practice again Friday, although indications are they will be back soon.

Reiff (back) has been out since being hurt July 27 in the first full-squad practice of camp. Treadwell (leg) missed his third straight practice, but hopes to be able to participate in the night practice.

"I'm keeping the good faith on that, and just working hard on treatment and getting out there and keep testing it, and hopefully they'll let me go,'' he said.

Also out were linebacker Kentrell Brothers (hamstring) and cornerback Jabari Price (undisclosed injury). Brothers, hurt July 28, expects to be back in a "week or so.''

Running back Jerick McKinnon, who suffered a right leg injury July 27, has gone through team drills the past two days but said he's not fully healthy.

"I'm still going through some kinks,'' he said. "Right now, it's still early. It's just about being 100 percent (for the regular season). ... I don't want anything lingering.''

Rather than in full pads, the Vikings practiced Friday in helmets and shoulder pads. Zimmer said players "were dragging a little bit" so he made the move in advance of the night practice.