When the week began, Vikings running back Dalvin Cook was not expected to play against the Steelers because of the shoulder injury that kept him out of last Sunday’s loss to the Lions but Cook wound up making it back to the lineup sooner than expected.
Cook got in a pair of limited practices before getting the green light to play against Pittsburgh while wearing a harness to protect his shoulder. Neither the harness nor the shoulder did anything to limit his effectiveness.
Cook set a franchise record with 153 rushing yards in the first half and added two touchdowns to help the VIkings build a 29-0 lead. He wound up with 205 yards and the Vikings held on for a 36-28 win and said after the game that he was happy the team believed he wouldn’t have pushed to play if he wasn’t going to “be productive for the team.”
“I’m just happy to be back, happy we got the win, and my coaches know, once I tell them I’m good, I’m good,” Cook said, via Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. “There’s no holding me back. Just turn me loose. I just appreciate them for believing in me, just trusting in who I am.”
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer called Cook a “great competitor” after the game and he’ll get some extra time to rest his shoulder before getting back on the field against the Bears on Monday night in Week 15.