Our theme with the rest of our SB Nation NFL blogs this week is “What is the one thing you would change about your team’s season if you could?” Let’s be honest. . .the Minnesota Vikings are sitting at 11-3, they’re holding all the cards to get a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs, and could potentially be looking at accomplishing something truly remarkable in the history of the team and the NFL. There really isn’t a whole heck of a lot to go back and think about changing.
But, if there was one thing that I could go back and change about this season, we would have to go back to Week 4 at U.S. Bank Stadium. Early in the second half, with the Vikings clinging to a slim lead, Case Keenum handed the ball to Dalvin Cook, who dashed into the Detroit secondary, made a move on a defender. . .and then fell to the ground in a heap, grabbing his knee and fumbling the football in the process. Cook wound up with a torn ACL, the Lions wound up winning the game, and it appeared that everything was going to start sliding downhill.
Of course, that wasn’t the case. . .the Vikings have won nine of the ten games they’ve played since then, and the running game has managed to get along just fine behind the tandem of Jerick McKinnon and Latavius Murray.
But man. . .could you imagine this offense if they still had a healthy Dalvin Cook in the backfield?
I don’t mean this to disrespect Murray or McKinnon in any way, but before Cook’s injury, he was showing exactly the reason why Rick Spielman and company traded up in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft to acquire his services. He was second in the NFL in rushing at the time of his injury. He was doing an outstanding job of not only catching passes out of the backfield, but acting as a blocker when called upon. He was quickly becoming the sort of three-down back that never has to come off the field and that all teams covet in today’s National Football League.
The Minnesota offense is doing well without Cook thus far, certainly. But having #33 in the lineup would make this offense even more dynamic than it already is. There aren’t very many things that I would change about this season thus far for the purple and gold, but if I got the chance to change one thing, we’d still have a healthy Dalvin Cook on the field.
What’s the one thing that you would change about this Minnesota season if you could? Would you change anything at all?