Dalvin Cook Ruled out for Vikings vs. Lions Because of Shoulder Injury

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 3, 2021

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 28: Dalvin Cook #33 of the Minnesota Vikings is carted off the field after being injured in the third quarter of the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on November 28, 2021 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Dalvin Cook's shoulder injury will keep him out for at least one game.

The Minnesota Vikings announced on Friday that Cook won't play this weekend against the Detroit Lions. 

The 26-year-old missed two games earlier in the season with an ankle issue, and his woes didn't end there. He was forced to leave a Week 12 loss against the San Francisco 49ers early with a dislocated shoulder, an injury that was expected to cost him two games. 

It was a particularly concerning injury for Cook, as he has had shoulder problems dating back to his Florida State days. 

Injuries in general have become a theme. His rookie season was cut short in 2017 with a torn ACL. In 2018, a hamstring injury cost him five games. And in 2019, a shoulder injury cost him the final two games of the regular season, though he returned for the postseason. 

When healthy, Cook has been fantastic. He's got 975 yards from scrimmage and four total touchdowns on 198 touches so far this season. 

In 14 games in the 2019 campaign, he rushed for 1,135 yards and 13 scores. He was even better in 2020, rushing for 1,557 yards and 16 touchdowns in 14 contests. 

When Cook is able to stay on the field, he's one of the best running backs in football and a key offensive pillar for the Vikings alongside Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson. 

The Vikings do have a good insurance plan in place, though, in the talented Alexander Mattison. Expect him to see the majority of the backfield work while Cook is sidelined, while Kene Nwangwu could see some touches as well.