Wide receiver Adam Thielen is getting tired of the Vikings losing close games.
Thielen, in his eighth season, has the second-longest continuous tenure with the team. With the Vikings off to an 0-2 start following a 27-24 overtime loss at Cincinnati in Week 1 and a 34-33 defeat Sunday at Arizona, he feels for the fans.
“We’ve got to find a way,’’ Thielen said Monday. “And I feel like we’ve been getting close to that but we’re kind of, I think, as Vikings fans are, we’re sick of getting close. We’ve got to go and finish it because we’ve got to find a way.’’
The Vikings fell in the opener after running back Dalvin Cook lost an overtime fumble at the Cincinnati 39, and the Bengals drove for a winning field goal. They lost at Arizona when Greg Joseph missed a 37-yard field goal on the final play.
“We’re probably two plays away from being 2-0 on the road,’’ said Vikings coach Mike Zimmer.
Instead, the Vikings are 0-2 for the second straight year and 14th time in their 61-year history. The only time the Vikings have made the playoffs after being 0-2 was in 2008, when they finished 10-6 and won the NFC North.
Minnesota has dropped plenty of close games since Zimmer took over in 2014, which was also Thielen’s first season on the active roster. In regular-season games since then decided by three points or less, the Vikings are 8-15-1.
Now, Zimmer is hoping the Vikings can get their first win of the season Sunday against Seattle in the home opener. With no fans allowed at Minnesota home games last season due to the pandemic, it will mark the first regular-season game at U.S. Bank Stadium with fans since Dec. 29, 2019 against Chicago.
“We got to play with great effort and intensity,’’ Zimmer said. “Typically, the crowd helps us do that.’’
Dillon to practice squad
Tight end Brandon Dillon cleared waivers Monday and was signed to Minnesota’s practice squad.
The Vikings on Saturday waived Dillon to create room on the roster for running back Ameer Abdullah, who had been on the practice squad. A source said Saturday the plan then had been for Dillon to end up replacing Abdullah on the practice squad.
Dillon has spent most of his three NFL seasons on Minnesota’s practice squad. He has gotten into five regular-season games and has one career catch for six yards.
After having 12 penalties for 116 yards at Cincinnati, Minnesota had just three for 16 yards at Arizona. “It was a lot more fun,” said center Garrett Bradbury. “I thought we were balanced.”
The Vikings lost even though they had no turnovers and picked off Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray twice. That dropped their record to 24-4 since Zimmer took over in 2014 in games with a turnover margin of plus-two or better.
Safety Myles Dorn, elevated from the practice squad, made his regular-season debut Sunday with 10 snaps on special teams.