In a season full of great moments for the Minnesota Vikings, one of the real low points was the injury that rookie running back Dalvin Cook suffered in the team’s Week 4 loss to the Detroit Lions. Cook was second in the National Football League in rushing yardage when he tore his ACL, and had given every indication that he could be a real difference-maker in a Minnesota offense that needed some.
Now, it sounds like Cook is making significant progress in his rehabilitation from that injury. So much so that he could, potentially, be on the field when the Vikings start going through Organized Team Activities in May.
Courtney Cronin of ESPN is reporting that the Vikings expect Cook to be ready to go when OTAs begin.
“I think he’s going to be pretty close,” Zimmer said Thursday. Vikings athletic trainer Eric Sugarman “tells me he’s doing great and he should be as good as new ... better.”
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“We’re very excited about the progress he’s making,” general manager Rick Spielman said. “Anxious to see where we are with him back in the fold along with whatever combination is there.”
According to Cronin’s story, Cook has remained in Minnesota to work with Certified Athletic Trainer Eric Sugarman™ in his rehabilitation process. Cook suffered his injury on 1 October and had his surgery shortly thereafter, so if he were to get out onto the field by the end of May, it would be just short of eight months since his injury.
The Vikings expect Cook to resume his role as their featured back, which could put the role of Latavius Murray in jeopardy. Murray performed well for the Vikings last season, but the Vikings could save over $5 million in salary cap space, and according to Over the Cap, Murray’s cap hit is currently the fifth-highest in the NFL among running backs (though that could certainly change over the course of the offseason). Murray is a good back and played well for the Vikings this past season, but with Cook’s return, the Vikings have no business paying Murray what would be one of the ten highest running back salaries in the NFL.
But, all that aside, it appears that the Vikings’ budding young star at running back is going to be ready to go for OTAs in May, which almost certainly means that he’ll be ready for Training Camp at the end of July. That’s good news for all fans of the Vikings.