Minnesota Vikings must shut Dalvin Cook down for the foreseeable future

Minnesota Vikings’ running back Dalvin Cook will miss his fourth game of the season.

Same story, a new week for the Minnesota Vikings. It is being reported that the Vikings will play without Dalvin Cook for yet another game as he recovers from a nagging hamstring injury. It would be a wise decision for the Vikings to shut Cook down for now.

Hamstring and other soft tissue injuries can be a hassle for a running back who plays the way Cook does. He utilizes a combination of power and elusiveness as he runs between tackles while looking for holes to break through. Cook’s hamstring problems have led to his ineffectiveness in the three games he has appeared in thus far.

The Vikings were hoping to be able to rely on Cook, believing that the dynamic and versatile tailback would return from a torn ACL that ended his rookie season early. Cook has instead been abysmal for the Vikings.

No one expected Cook to be sitting on 98 yards going into Week 7. The Vikings did not anticipate the struggles when the season began. Neither did Cook, who cannot be the sole culprit for his poor play.

The Vikings’ offensive line took some time to gel. More evidence pointing into the direction of this is the fact that the Vikings were the last NFL team to score a rushing touchdown. It took place last week against the Arizona Cardinals.

To his credit, Cook has run hard when he has rushed with the football. There have been times, however, when he has looked a bit slow. Having a tender hamstring could very well be the reason for that.

Backup running back Latavius Murray has done his part to take up the slack and now leads the Vikings in rushing attempts and yards. The Vikings’ coaching staff have faith in Murray which is one reason why Cook should be sidelined for a few weeks at least.

The reason why the Vikings must sit Cook is the recovery from his knee surgery. If the Vikings view Cook as one of their franchise cornerstones it is best that they have him healthy. Playing Cook would put him at risk of a hamstring tear or worse. It is a risk that is not worth taking by the Vikings.

While no one is 100 percent this deep into the NFL season, the Vikings can allow Cook to heal up and be close to fully healthy during the stretch they will need him the most.

Week 10 is when the Vikings will have their bye week before a showdown with the much-improved Chicago Bears. Putting Cook on ice until then allows the Vikings to rest him for four weeks. It is conceivable that the Vikings could go 2-1 or 3-0 against the New York Jets, New Orleans Saints, and Detroit Lions in the next three Sundays leading up to the bye.

Next: Dalvin Cook sits out against the Buffalo Bills

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If Cook is part of the Vikings’ future he should be treated as such, versus risking a more serious injury. Losing Cook for the remainder of the season just to rush him back out on the football is something that the Vikings can ill-afford.

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