Last year, when Florida State running back Dalvin Cook fell out of the first round of the NFL draft, the Vikings made an aggressive trade to move up early in the second round to get him and install him as the heir apparent to future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson.
Through the first four games, it looked like one of the best trades GM Rick Spielman ever made, as Cook started out with over 350 yards rushing in his a little over three and a half games. In his fourth game, though, he tore his ACL against Detroit, and was lost for the season.
It was thought that he would be an integral cog in the 2018 offense, but he started slow, only rushing for 78 yards in his first two games. He hurt his hamstring in week three in a loss to Buffalo, aggravated his injury against the Los Angeles Rams a week later, and has been out ever since.
All signs were pointing to him playing against Arizona, but he tweaked his hamstring again during warmups and was a late scratch. Now, comes this from Vikings ESPN beat reporter Courtney Cronin:
With a growing expectation, per multiple league sources, that Dalvin Cook (hamstring) will remain sidelined through the bye week, the Vikings offseason decision to keep Latavius Murray is paying off in a big way. https://t.co/98Wr4HwWl8— Courtney Cronin (@CourtneyRCronin) October 24, 2018
If true, Cook will miss two games before the Vikings break for their bye week, against the Saints this Sunday night and then Detroit. Although it’s another tough break for Cook, who’s missed 14 games in his two year career, the decision by the Vikings to keep Latavius Murray has really paid off.
Murray has rushed for 224 yards and three touchdowns in the last two games, including a career high 155 yards against Arizona two weeks ago. In last Sunday’s 37-17 win over the New York Jets, Murray ran for 69 (nice) yards, and had touchdown runs of 11 and 38 yards.
Hamstrings can be tricky injuries, and although it’s frustrating, the Vikings can afford to keep Cook sidelined until he’s fully healthy, and ready for the stretch run.
For now, they’ll just ride the Tay Train.