The Minnesota Vikings running back hasn’t exactly lived up to his potential as he’s been hampered by injuries during his first two seasons with the team.
Following their second-round selection of Florida State running back Dalvin Cook, many believed that the Minnesota Vikings had landed one of the top steals of the 2017 NFL Draft. And after his first few games with the Vikings, this belief seemed like it would prove to be true.
But unfortunately, Cook suffered a dreaded torn ACL four weeks into his rookie year with Minnesota and the young running back was lost for the remainder of the season.
Heading into 2018, the outlook seemed good on the prospects of Cook being able to recover nicely from his surgically repaired knee. His performance in offseason workouts and training camp only furthered this hope for the Vikings.
Cook ended up being healthy enough for Minnesota’s season-opening matchup in 2018 against the San Francisco 49ers. He didn’t have a jaw-dropping performance during the Vikings’ win over the 49ers, but he appeared to be progressing back into the player that everyone witnessed during the first few games of his rookie year.
Then came Minnesota’s Week 3 game against the Buffalo Bills. Cook sat the matchup out with a hamstring injury and at the time, the ailment wasn’t believed to be serious.
However, the Vikings running back ended up missing a total of five games because of his injured hamstring. Minnesota was able to still pick up wins without Cook on the field, but they would have obviously loved to have him in the lineup instead.
During his two years with the Vikings, the 23-year-old running back has missed 56 percent of the team’s games (including the playoffs). While the ACL injury is not something that should be held against him, his injury in 2018 should worry Minnesota a bit.
He never really had a serious problem with injuries during college, but for some reason he just can’t seem to stay on the field since he was drafted by the Vikings.
As Minnesota heads into year three with Cook, should the team consider using an early-round selection in the 2019 draft on a guy who could potentially be his replacement? Or should the Vikings give him at least one more season to prove that he can be the team’s top running back for the next handful of years?
Based on their needs being stronger at other position groups this offseason, it’s likely that Minnesota will wait at least one more year to address their situation at running back if it’s needed.
Hopefully though, Cook is able to finally breakout in 2019 and the Vikings only worry with him will be figuring out how big of an extension he deserves.