After fumbling away the game in last Sunday’s season-opening loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, Minnesota Vikings star running back Dalvin Cook has already moved on. He knows thinking about that miscue won’t do him any good in this Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals.
“I’m a pro,” Cook said. “I’ve been playing football since I was 4 years old. I’ve fumbled. Just got to be better.”
There was hope that Cook might be ruled down by contact in overtime. It looked like his butt might have hit the turf before the ball got knocked out and that would’ve allowed the Vikings to keep the ball.
Instead, the Bengals took over, marched down the field, and kicked the game-winning field goal.
“You just can’t leave a game in the refs’ hands,” Cook said. “I wasn’t surprised. It was a 50-50 call. They made the call and that’s what we have to live with.”
No doubt the Vikings are going to continue to give the ball to Cook moving forward. He’s ready for it.
“You get the ball so many times in a football game,” he said. “The value of taking care of the football is like the world is in my hands. I’ve got to take care of it. I’m moving on and getting that bad taste out.”
There’s nothing else receiver Justin Jefferson has to do to prove his worth in the NFL. Not only do his elite route running skills allow him to gain separation on pretty much anybody, his incredible ball skills allow him to make even the toughest of catches seem effortless.
Who knew he also had one heck of an arm?
In the season opener, Jefferson completed an 11-yard pass to fellow receiver K.J. Osborn for a key first down. The trick play could’ve gone for much, much longer had receiver Adam Thielen not been blanketed downfield.
“It took him a second to kind of get his grip on the ball and did a nice job,” quarterback Kirk Cousins said when asked about Jefferson’s throw. “We sat down on the bench next to each other and I said, ‘Hey. Nice throw on that crossing route.’ He said, ‘I’m 1 for 1 in my career!’ I said ‘That’s a good start!’ He said, ‘That’s a perfect passer rating!’ I said ‘I don’t know about that.'”
For the record, Jefferson’s currently has a 112.5 passer rating for his career.
After sitting out as a healthy scratch in the season opener, it’s unclear if cornerback Cameron Dantzler will see the field in Sunday’s game against the Cardinals.
Maybe fellow cornerback Bashaud Breeland struggling in the season opener will force the coaching staff to consider letting Dantzler suit up. In theory, his lengthy 6-foot-2 frame could provide some help against a dynamic aerial attack.
In the meantime, though, it seems Dantzler needs to add more to his game if he wants to see the field again. Asked what Dantzler needs to do, Zimmer responded, “The first thing is he’s got to play special teams. If you’re a backup player, you’ve got to play special teams.”