One of the keys to being an effective NFL running back is the ability to play. One of the keys to getting a chance to play NFL running back is the ability to practice.
And so, with Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon injured, Vikings rookie running back Dalvin Cook is taking an early lead in the chase to replace Adrian Peterson.
As explained by Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com, Cook had an impressive performance in Saturday’s initial padded practice of camp.
“[Cook] tries to make the most of every rep he gets,” Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said, via Seifert. “You see him do a lot of things really well, and if he does make a mistake, he’s able to correct it and move on. That’s another sign of being a pro. If you do this long enough or if you run enough plays, you’re going to make a few errors. The key is to correct the error, move on fast and don’t make it again. We’ve seen all those elements to his game, and I think he’s going to have a bright future.”
The fact that the Vikings have seen nothing from Murray, who signed in March, serves only to help Cook’s immediate future become even brighter.
“I haven’t seen Latavius other than on tape,” coach Mike Zimmer said, via Seifert. “Dalvin has shown a lot of really good things so far. We’ll see.”
The question is when we’ll see Murray, who had ankle surgery after signing with the Vikings. His three-year, $15 million contract is, in reality, a one-year, $3.4 million commitment. At this rate, that could be all Murray ever gets in Minnesota.