Dealing with an ankle injury, Cook was held to 34 yards on nine carries in a 14-7 loss to the Cleveland Browns. The Vikings offense, unable to run the ball effectively, did not look like the same unit that posted the fourth-most yards in the NFL entering Week 4.
Vikings Legend Chuck Foreman saw from the first snap that Cook was not his usual self and questioned whether the team rushed Cook’s recovery after the running back was transient in the second half.
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‘I Probably Would Have Held Him Out’
Foreman spoke with Pioneer Press reporter Chris Tomasson, who said that Foreman felt it was “prudent” for Cook to sit out against the Browns.
“I give him credit for going out there and trying, but I probably would have held him out one more game because you don’t want a Dalvin Cook that’s 60 percent,” Foreman said. “You want Dalvin Cook as 100 percent. But one thing I’m glad to see is that they didn’t overdo it (with him against the Browns). Once they saw he wasn’t doing the things that he normally does, they put somebody else in there.”
Foreman helped the Vikings make three Super Bowl appearances in the ’70s as one of the league’s best pass-catching backs in NFL history. Foreman explained that Cook’s explosive style of running is reliant on him being at full health.
“When you cut like he does, your game is affected differently than a guy who’s just a straight-ahead runner,” Foreman said. “He’s got great escapability. He’s quick, he’s fast, and he’s got all those things going for him. But if there’s anything that can limit him, he’s not going to be the same.”
Coach Mike Zimmer opted to let Cook decide if he could play after taking a break early in the Browns game.
“I don’t think it was an issue,” Zimmer said of Cook’s injury in a postgame press conference. “He came out of the game one time a little gimpy. We took him out for a while, then he said he was good, and he went back in.”
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Cook Plans to Play Through Injury
Cook addressed concerns over his lingering ankle swelling on Wednesday, saying he intends to play through the pain.
“That’s the plan,” Cook said, per NFL.com. “I don’t feel like I’m getting worse. I don’t feel like I’m headed in the wrong direction. I feel like I’m headed in the right direction to get myself back to where I need to be at. You have those days, but we just played a game. Just trying to work myself back to being 100 percent so I can help us win games.”
He added that playing through injury is a reality in the NFL as the season wears on.
“It’s kind of like hand-in-hand because if you’re not out there you’re frustrated still,” Cook said. “And if you are out there, sometimes it can hinder you from me being the Dalvin that’s being explosive a lot of plays, and sometimes it can do that, and that’s the frustrating part. But you play through it. Part of this game is playing through pain, and that’s what comes with it. Playing through injury is something different. Playing through pain, that’s what comes with this game, and that’s what I’m dealing with, a little pain.”