Is this the week Dalvin Cook returns for the Vikings?
MINNEAPOLIS -- Vikings running back Dalvin Cook doesn’t know when he’ll return from a left hamstring injury, but he knows this: “Once I get back, it’s going to be on,” he said Thursday, Nov. 1.
Cook has missed the past four games and five of the past six. That’s after sitting out the final 12 games of last season with a torn left ACL.
Cook didn’t practice at all last week after being in and out of workouts in previous weeks. But he was listed as limited in practices Wednesday and Thursday, making it possible he could return Sunday against Detroit at U.S. Bank Stadium.
“I feel great,” he said. “I’ve been practicing all week. … I feel great, confident. And they got me back to where I needed to be, so I’ve just got to keep striving.”
Cook said it isn’t his decision whether he plays against the Lions. Is he physically ready to return?
“I’d say I’m in a comfortable spot,” he said. “I’ve just got to keep stacking the days up. One thing about injuries and one thing you can’t ever replicate is a game in practice. The tweaking and the turning of your body and getting tackled. We don’t tackle in practice, so you’ll never know.”
Cook said the decision to shut him down all of last week was “very important” because the worst thing for a hamstring injury is for it to “keep lingering.”
Cook was injured Sept. 16 at Green Bay. His only action over the past six games has been first-half duty Sept. 27 at the Los Angeles Rams. He was considered a game-time decision for games Oct. 7 at Philadelphia and Oct. 14 against Arizona but was unable to play.
“It was never a setback,” he said. “You just never get rid of it.”
Cook, a second-round pick in the 2017 draft, rushed for 354 yards last season before his injury in the third quarter of the Week 4 game against Detroit at U.S. Bank Stadium. Playing the Lions again Sunday at home, Cook insisted that doesn’t bring up any memories of his previous injury.
“It’s not on my mind,” he said. “The knee is behind me. That’s over with. Just trying to get healthy for my hamstring.”
Cook has rushed for just 98 yards this season, and his average of 2.8 yards is down from last season’s 4.8. He was trying to get back in the groove when he was hurt in overtime of the 29-29 tie against the Packers.
In Cook’s absence, Latavius Murray has taken over as the starter. Murray has rushed for 280 yards the past three games, and leads the Vikings with 386 yards on the season.
“Everybody knows what the Tay Train can do, what he brings to the table,” Cook said. “We’re a thousand percent confident in Tay out there.”
The Vikings could reveal Friday whether Cook will return against the Lions. If he doesn’t, he would get two more weeks of rest since Minnesota has a bye week before next playing Nov. 18 at Chicago.
“That’s going to be a plus whatever decision we make (on playing Sunday),” Cook said of the bye week.