The Vikings have felt good about running back Dalvin Cook‘s outlook for the 2018 season for a while and coach Mike Zimmer said Thursday that Cook may not wind up missing much offseason work after tearing his ACL last year.
Zimmer said that the team’s training staff believes Cook is progressing well and that he’s on track to be “pretty close” to ready when the team starts their OTAs in May. Cook will surely be eased back into any on-field work and Zimmer said the team’s overall approach with Cook has to take into account their desire to have him as their lead back for the long haul.
“I think he’s going to get a lot of plays,” Zimmer said, via the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “The one thing we have to be careful about with Dalvin is, you know, we don’t wear him out. It’s a long season; we’ve got to be smart about it, so we’ll have to have a — not necessarily a pitch count, but be mindful that it’s a 16-game, maybe 20-game season and we’re going to have to be smart about how we use him. Because he is a three-down back.”
Jerick McKinnon is set for free agency and the Vikings have to decide whether to hold onto Latavius Murray at a salary of over $5 million before it becomes guaranteed early in the new league year. Whatever call they make with Murray, having a reliable No. 2 behind Cook will be important for the Vikings in 2018.