Vikings fans are chomping at the bit to see Dalvin Cook return to action. They will get their wish on Friday night when Minnesota takes on the Seahawks.
It’s been a long time since Vikings fans have enjoyed the opportunity to cheer Dalvin Cook on a football field. He hasn’t taken a snap since suffering an ACL injury all the way back in October 2017. That’s all about to change on Friday night.
NFL.com is reporting that Cook is scheduled to play in the team’s next preseason game against the Seahawks. There’s no indication of how many snaps Cook will get, but getting him back on the field at all will be an emotional lift for the Minnesota offense.
The arrival of Kirk Cousins is getting all the attention, but the return of Cook might be just as important to Mike Zimmer’s attack.
It’s easy to forget just how good Cook was as a rookie before succumbing to injury. He rushed for 354 yards on just 74 carries as a rookie. That was good for a 4.8 yards per carry average.
If he can stay healthy in 2018 and stay anywhere near that level of efficiency he could make the Vikings offense just as productive as their stellar defense.
Expect the coaching staff to ease him back into the action this season though. Injury issues during his career at Florida State were a big reason the Vikings were able to grab him in the second round of the 2017 draft. When he’s right, he showcases an impressive combination of speed and power.
Cook is one of the few backs in the NFL who can hit home runs on the ground and through the air.
Cook’s return to the field shouldn’t eliminate Latavius Murray from the running back equation in Minnesota. He filled in admirably for the talented rookie last season. He isn’t nearly as dangerous as Cook in the open field, but he can grind out yards between the tackles.
Look for the two backs to engage in some sort of time share this season.
Vikings fans can worry about the particulars another day. For the time being, they’ll be happy to see Cook back on the field playing the game he loves. Worrying about his potential to pilot his team to a Super Bowl can wait till Saturday.