EAGAN, Minn. -- Adam Thielen being shut out is quite a rarity.
The Minnesota Vikings wide receiver didn’t have a single catch in four targets in Monday’s 23-10 loss to Green Bay at U.S. Bank Stadium. Excluding a game last month at Kansas City in which Thielen departed early in the first quarter after aggravating a hamstring injury, the last time Thielen didn’t have a reception in a game was in a 34-6 loss to Indianapolis on Dec. 18, 2016.
Monday marked Thielen’s second game back after he had missed four straight and five of six due to injury.
“It had nothing to do with the hamstring injury,’’ Thielen said of not catching a ball against the Packers. “I felt great out there and just had a few opportunities, didn’t make the plays, and the rest is out of my control.’’
The Vikings (10-5) are locked into the No. 6 seed in the NFC, and Sunday’s regular-season finale against Chicago (7-8) at U.S. Bank Stadium is meaningless from a playoff standpoint. It remains to be seen if starters play in the game.
“We don’t know,’’ Thielen said. “Coach (Mike) Zimmer’s going to tell us. … If we’re out there, we’re going to take advantage of it.’’
During his injury-plagued season, Thielen in 10 games has just 30 catches for 418 yards. That follows a two-year stretch in which he had 204 catches for 2,649 yards and made a pair of Pro Bowls.
On Monday, Thielen was hardly alone in having offensive struggles. The Vikings were held to a meager 139 yards of total offense,
“Any time you have a performance like that, yeah, you’re surprised,’’ Thielen said.
Back to Seattle?
After a 37-30 loss at Seattle on Dec. 2, tight end Kyle Rudolph predicted the Vikings could be back in the city for a playoff game.
He might end up being right.
If the Seahawks (11-4) defeat San Francisco (12-3) at home Sunday night to win the NFC West and the Packers (12-3) win earlier in the day at Detroit (3-11-1), Seattle would be the No. 3 seed and play host to Minnesota on Jan. 4 or 5.
However, if the 49ers defeat the Seahawks and the Packers win, the Vikings would play at New Orleans (12-3). The Packers would need to lose for the Vikings to open the postseason at Green Bay.
“Obviously, there’s three realistic places we can go and for us we lost control of that a long time ago,’’ Rudolph said. “We know we have to play three games on the road to get where we want to be (the Super Bowl) and when it all shakes out late Sunday night, we’ll figure out where we’re going.’’
The Vikings likely won’t know their first-round foe until late Sunday night. Then they will have to travel for a game that could be on Saturday rather than on Sunday.
“Yeah, it’s a little more difficult when you don’t find out until Sunday night, and then again it could be a Saturday game,’’ Zimmer said. “We’ll just do the best we can.’’
Zimmer said the Vikings, as is usually done before the playoffs, have people already breaking down film on potential foes.
–The Vikings have two players rated No. 1 at a position by Pro Football Focus. Linebacker Eric Kendricks is tops among linebackers and Anthony Harris has that distinction at safety.
–Fran Tarkenton, who played for Minnesota from 1961-66 an 1972-78, is one of 22 finalists at quarterback for the NFL 100 All-Time Team. The team will be completed Friday night with the naming of 10 quarterbacks.
–The seven first downs the Vikings had against Green Bay were the least in a home game since they seven in a 29-10 win over Detroit on Dec. 11, 1971 at Metropolitan Stadium.