Dalvin Cook injury update: How ‘intense rehab’ could allow Vikings RB to play on ‘Thursday Night Football’

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Dalvin Cook suffered an awkward-looking left shoulder injury against the 49ers in Week 12. It was bad enough that he fumbled on the play and was carted off the field in tears.

Cook was diagnosed with a dislocated left shoulder and was expected to be out until a Week 15 game against the Bears on Dec. 20. the Vikings running back seemingly has a chance to return to the field in half of his projected recovery time.

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The Vikings have listed Cook as “questionable” for their “Thursday Night Football” game against the Steelers. However, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports that Cook has gotten all the first-team reps in practice and wants to “give it a go.”

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How did Cook make a projected three-week recovery in just 11 days? Pelissero reports it took “intense rehab” and that Cook will have to wear some sort of “added protection” to get back onto the field.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter later reported that Cook will play against the Steelers. He will wear a harness and maintain a “regular workload” during the contest.

Having Cook will be good news for the Vikings. They have a quality backup to him in Alexander Mattison, but Cook has 975 scrimmage yards this season and is averaging 4.5 yards per carry. Comparatively, Mattison has 588 scrimmage yards but is averaging just 3.7 yards per carry. So, Cook will add a little pop to the backfield rotation.

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Also, receiver Adam Thielen is out for this game with a high-ankle sprain. As such, the Vikings may have to lean more on the running game to carry their offense, as the Steelers will be focused on stopping top receiver Justin Jefferson. That will be easier to if both Cook and Mattison are available.

Cook still has to get that final medical clearance, as Pelissero noted, so nothing is set in stone. Still, it seems like Cook is trending in the right direction. That would provide a boost to the Vikings, who so desperately need one after losing to the previously winless Lions in Week 13.



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