The Minnesota Vikings are preparing for a major showdown this weekend against the New Orleans Saints. It appears they will once again be without running back Dalvin Cook.
Cook has been bothered by a bad hamstring since Week 2. He tried to come back too soon against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 4, and has not played since.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer conceded some progress for Cook when meeting with the media today. However, he didn’t exactly sound too enthusiastic about the possibility of him suiting up this week.
Zimmer says Dalvin Cook is “doing pretty good.” Any chance for this week? Zimmer shrugged. “There’s always a chance.” Not exactly enthusiastic.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 24, 2018
Latavius Murray has played well in Cook’s absence, rushing for 155 yards and a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals two weeks ago and adding 69 yards and two touchdowns against the Jets last weekend.
Expect another heavy dose of Murray this weekend, with Roc Thomas and Mike Boone providing change-of-pace options.
The Vikings have two weeks before their Week 10 bye, and it makes sense that they would hold Cook out until that point. Better to get him fully healthy for the stretch run than rush him back.
The Vikings and Saints will play on Sunday Night Football this week. Kickoff is set for 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC.