Vikings running back Dalvin Cook should be ‘full-go’ against Bears
After Dalvin Cook assuaged any lingering concerns about his hamstring with a 70-yard run against the Lions on Nov. 4, he appears ready to return to a full workload on Sunday night against the Bears.
Offensive coordinator John DeFilippo said on Thursday he considers Cook to be full-go heading into Sundays game, and Cook sounded confident hed be ready for a regular night of work after playing 28 of the Vikings 49 snaps against the Lions.
Im ready to go. Im fired up, Cook said. Its a big week, and for me to be out there, Im just happy to be out there. Were going to see if Im 100 percent, but with my body, I feel great. So yeah, Im there.
Cook touched the ball on half of his plays against the Lions, finishing with 109 yards from scrimmage on 14 combined rushing and receiving attempts. The Vikings will likely use him in tandem with Latavius Murray on Sunday night, but Cook figures to be a significant part of the offense after showing he was healthy against the Lions.
Around this time last year, I was on the couch [after a torn ACL], watching my team compete, wishing I could be out here, he said. Now [that] Im out here, Ive got to take full advantage of it.
Abdullah could be Vikings new return man
Running back Ameer Abdullah, whom the Vikings claimed on waivers from the Lions on Nov. 7, joins a crowded backfield now that Cook is back to a normal workload. But if Abdullah is active on Sunday night in Chicago, he could make an immediate impact as a kick returner.
We have to wait and see if hes going to be active or not, special teams coordinator Mike Priefer said. But if we had his services available, I would love to use him as a kickoff returner. Hed fit right in to what we want at that position. The big thing for Ameer is obviously ball security. Thats one of the issues hes had in the past. And I dont think its been a major issue for him, but like any young returner, youve got to really emphasize how important that ball security is.
Priefer said the Vikings had Abdullah rated as their top kick returner when he was coming out of Nebraska for the 2015 draft, and Abdullah led the league with 1,077 return yards joining Percy Harvin as the only two return men since 1994 to post a runback of 104 yards or more without scoring a touchdown during his rookie season with the Lions.
I talked to [assistant general manager] George Paton about it, and they obviously knew how I felt, Priefer said. George went back and looked at my ranking before he even came and talked to me. Before we had our discussion, he looked back at the comments and ranking I had on him when he was coming out of Nebraska, and obviously, that was a big sell for our guys. He brings a lot to the table as an athlete, and we might use him on other phases [of special teams], for that matter.
Barr back at practice; Sendejo, Morgan still out
Linebacker Anthony Barr practiced on Thursday for the first time since Oct. 19, after missing the teams past two games with a hamstring injury. Barr was limited in his return to practice, going through position drills with the Vikings linebackers during the portion of practice open to reporters.
Safety Andrew Sendejo, who has missed the Vikings past four games with a groin injury, did not practice again on Thursday. Tight end David Morgan remained out with a knee injury.
Wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who said on Thursday hed be back from a rib injury for the Bears game, was a full participant for the second straight day, while Adam Thielen remained limited with low back and calf injuries.