Adam Thielen caught just 16 of his 247 career receptions from Teddy Bridgewater, but the impact the former Vikings quarterback had on him goes far beyond statistics, Thielen says.

“I probably wouldn’t be the receiver I am today without him,” Thielen said Thursday.

After a year on the practice squad, Thielen’s first season as a Minnesota wide receiver was in 2014, when Bridgewater arrived as a first-round draft pick. Bridgewater was the starting quarterback for much of 2014 and throughout 2015, when Thielen caught 16 of his first 20 NFL passes from him.

Bridgewater suffered a severe knee injury and missed the entire 2016 season, when Thielen finally moved into the starting lineup. While still recovering, Bridgewater played just one game last season.

Bridgewater, now the backup to Drew Brees in New Orleans, returns to Minnesota for Sunday’s game against the Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium.