Dalvin Cook‘s 489 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns lead the league. The Vikings star running back, though, won’t play Sunday after injuring his groin in the Week Five loss to the Seahawks
Instead, Alexander Mattison will make his first career start.
Mattison has played 18 career games but always as a backup. He had 124 carries for 569 yards in his career before last week when he replaced Cook and ran for a career-high 112 yards on 20 carries.
“I guess the best compliment I can give Matt is that when Dalvin leaves the game, I don’t change my mindset at all,” offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak said, via Courtney Cronin of ESPN. “I mean he’s a fine, young player, is playing behind a very established player in this league, so he’s got a great example in front of him. Matt is a three-down player. He understands pass protections, catches the ball really well, and you guys have seen what he can do, so we’re really proud of how he played the other night. I would say everybody expects it from him, because of watching him work, watching him practice and his preparation as a player, and [Kennedy Polamalu] does a really good job with him, so Matt has got a very bright future.”
It is a chance at redemption for Mattison, who came up a yard short on fourth-and-one with two minutes remaining in a five-point game that turned into a one-point loss after Russell Wilson‘s heroics.