There are just two days remaining of Minnesota Vikings training camp in Mankato and as camp wraps up, players are fighting for a few final roster spots.
One of those Vikings is wide receiver Adam Thielen. The Minnesota State Mankato graduate and Detroit Lakes native has been one of the most talked-about players at training camp all year.
According to the blog Making the Call, Thielen impressed the coaches early in training camp and the buzz about the former Division II standout has only increased after he made some big plays in Friday night's first preseason game.
"[Adam]'s a guy that has a lot of toughness, a lot of heart," Vikings coach Mike Zimmer told reporters. "He wants to make the the football team, and he's giving his best effort to do it. Guys like him – you can win a lot of football games with guys like him."
Thielen isn't a sure bet to make the team. But after last year spent on the practice squad, a strong camp and the uncertainty surrounding the status of fellow receiver Jerome Simpson – who could face another suspension – his chances appear to be improving.
FOX Sports Net's Brian Hall predicts Thielen will make the Vikings final 53-man roster.
"The final spot is likely down to Smith or Thielen, but the latter's strong camp has him with the edge. It would be a surprise at this point if Thielen doesn't make the team as he can also add value on special teams."
"I'll be trying to give him a compliment, and he still feels like he's not part of the tam," said Patterson. "I tell him every day, 'You're part of the team.'"
The Vikings have to get down to 53 players by Aug. 30.
They open the season on Sept. 7 in St. Louis against the Rams.