Thielen wins NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors

Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen has been named the NFC's Special Teams Player of the Week for his Week 13 performance against the Carolina Panthers.

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) returns a blocked punt for a touchdown during the first quarter against the Carolina Panthers at TCF Bank Stadium. Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen has been named the NFC’s Special Teams Player of the Week for his Week 13 performance against the Carolina Panthers.

Thielen blocked a punt in the first quarter of the contest and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown, the Vikings first blocked punt return touchdown since October 12, 1986 (Issiac Holt).   

Thielen becomes the first Vikings player to win the award in 2014 and 6th since Mike Priefer became Special Teams Coordinator in 2011. Since Priefer became the Vikings Special Teams Coordinator, the team has scored 8 touchdowns three different ways on special teams (4 KOR, 2 PR, 2 blocked punt returns).

His 30-yard return on the blocked punt was the longest in franchise history until Everson Griffen returned a Jasper Brinkley blocked punt 43 yards in the second quarter of the game. The two blocked punt return touchdowns marked the 4th time since the 1970 merger and the 1st time since September 30, 1990 (Kansas City Chiefs) that the feat has occurred.

Thielen became the 4th player in franchise history to block a punt and return it for a touchdown. The Vikings went 453 games without a blocked punt returned for a touchdown before having two in a single game.


Thielen also recorded two special teams tackles against Carolina and currently ranks third on the team with nine on the season.

A native of Detroit Lakes, MN and former Minnesota State University player, Thielen joined the Vikings after a rookie tryout during the 2013 offseason. Thielen spent the entire 2013 on the practice squad before making the 53-man roster in 2014.

Vikings NFC Special Teams Players of the Week since 2011:

  • Blair Walsh, K vs. JAC, 4-4 FGs, OT forcing 55-yard FG, GW 38-yard FG in OT
  • Blair Walsh, K at STL, 5-5 FGs, Tied NFL record with 3 50+ FGs (50, 53,51)
  • Blair Walsh, K vs. GB, 3-3 FGs, GW 29-yard FG to clinch playoff berth
  • Cordarrelle Patterson, KR/WR vs. GB, NFL record 109-yard KOR TD, 5 KOR, 228 yards, 1 TD
  • Blair Walsh, K at GB, 4-4 FGs, game-tying 35-yard FG in OT
  • Adam Thielen, WR vs. CAR, 30-yard blocked punt return TD, 2 ST tackles
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