Vikings' Dalvin Cook Ruled Out vs. Packers Due to Shoulder Injury

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistDecember 21, 2019

Minnesota Vikings' Dalvin Cook in action against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 2, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)
John Froschauer/Associated Press

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook will miss Monday's crucial matchup with the Green Bay Packers because of an injured shoulder. 

The Vikings officially ruled their star running back out Saturday.

If the Vikings beat the Packers, they will clinch a playoff berth and have a chance to win the NFC North in Week 17. They have to win out and have Green Bay lose its final two games to clinch the division title. 

Injuries have been an issue throughout the early portion of Cook's career. He played four games as a rookie because of a torn ACL and 11 games last year. He injured his shoulder in Minnesota's 39-10 win over the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 15.

Despite the health concerns, Cook enjoyed a breakthrough campaign in 2019.

He was named to the Pro Bowl, topped 1,000 rushing yards for the first time (currently 1,135) and has a career-best 519 receiving yards. His 13 total touchdowns represent the first time he has scored more than four times in a season, and he helped lead the Vikings into playoff position as one of the best running backs in the league.

Minnesota is a much better offensive team when Cook is on the field, but it does have a strong offensive line that can help open holes for his backups while he is sidelined.

Look for Mike Boone to receive the most carries without the starter. He scored two touchdowns in last week's win over the Chargers.