Just a few minutes ago, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer confirmed what most people expected: rookie running back Dalvin Cook, among the league leaders in rushing and an early candidate for rookie of the year, has a torn ACL and is out for the rest of the season.
Mike Zimmer confirms: Dalvin Cook torn ACL. Done for season.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 2, 2017
Cook had won the starting job in training camp, was in the top five in rushing and yards per attempt, and had scored touchdowns in consecutive games against the Buccaneers and Lions before getting injured.
The Vikings offense was really starting to gel around him, especially when starting QB Sam bradford went down with a knee injury, and now the Vikings will have to fill another hole in the backfield. All eyes turn to Latavius Murray, who was signed as a free agent in the off-season.
Murray, who was supposed to be the main guy in the backfield, now gets his shot after he was relegated to a tertiary role thanks to Cook’s performance and a nagging ankle injury that bothered Murray for most of training camp and the pre-season.
Although Murray is a downgrade from Cook, all is not lost. Murray has rushed for over 1,000 yards in a season before, and for his career is averaging over four yards a carry. He’s not as explosive carrying the ball as Cook is, but he’s versatile, is a very good short yardage back, and is a good blocking back as well.
So, unless Sam Bradford returns Monday Night, your starting backfield for the Vikings will be Murray and Case Keenum.
Because, you know, it’s totally normal to have two different franchise quarterbacks and two different franchise running backs be lost for part, most, or all of two separate seasons. Totally normal.