In 2017, Vikings then-rookie running back Dalvin Cook conjured memories of Adrian Peterson, with more than 400 yards from scrimmage in the first four games of the season. But then came a non-contact ACL tear and there went Cook’s rookie year.
Cook struggled to get and stay healthy in 2018, with a hamstring injury limiting him to 11 total games — and only 930 yards from scrimmage.
After conclusion of the offseason program, Cook has high hopes for 2019.
“I’m healthy,” Cook said, via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “I was able to be me [during the offseason program], fly around and be Dalvin. That’s why it went smooth. Now, I’m back having fun.”
Part of the fun is having a new system that embraces the running game.
“The system is set up for us to be great, and we’ve got to go be great,” Cook said. “The system is set up for us. We’ve got to go take care of business. We’re going to see in a couple of months.”
When Cook was injured in 2017, Latavius Murray stepped in and filled the void. Murray is now gone, and if the depth behind Cook carries question marks, from veteran Ameer Abdullah to youngsters Mike Boone and Roc Thomas to rookie Alexander Mattison. If Cook can stay healthy, he can be special — and that can fuel Minnesota’s offense, allowing for quarterback Kirk Cousins to use play-action passes to take advantage of a great group of pass catchers.