Vikings running back Dalvin Cook exited Monday night’s game after a third-quarter fumble, in an awkward haze of camera angles that seemed to show Cook sobbing on the field after the truck finally decided to pivot away from the perfunctory post-turnover Stanley Cup team photo in the end zone. He went to the locker room, returned in uniform, but never re-entered the game.
And his injury has morphed from shoulder to chest (an aggravation of the injury listed on last week’s report) to, reportedly, clavicle.
On Monday, coach Mike Zimmer was asked whether he has obtained more information about Cook’s injury.
“Yes, I did,” Zimmer said, answering the question as literally as possible.
So how does he look?
“Fine,” Zimmer said.
Zimmer has no obligation to say anything about Cook beyond the official injury reports, which will be issued on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. And while the Vikings and Cook have been creating the impression that he’ll play on Sunday against the Lions, it would be smart to give him a week off, if there’s any doubt about his health.
Alexander Mattison did well in place of Cook on Monday night. Mattison has more than enough to help the Vikings win games while Cook heals. For the same reasons the Vikings have been careful with Adam Thielen, they need to be careful with Cook. And if they can get both of them back for January, the Vikings have a team that is built to play anywhere, against anyone.