The debut of Dalvin Cook?
The Vikings’ running game looked outstanding last week with their new offense, racking up 213 rushing yards and 7.9 yards per carry against the Saints’ defense. These numbers are impressive, but they jump out even more considering that Minnesota’s starting running back, Dalvin Cook, didn’t even play.
As head coach Mike Zimmer held him out because of the condition of the Superdome turf, Cook watched as Alexander Mattison, Ameer Abdullah, and Mike Boone all had big plays on the ground. While the Vikings know that the guys behind Cook can produce, it would be of great assurance to see the team’s top rusher thrive in their new run-oriented offense.
While the backups had great showings in the first week, there is no doubt that Cook remains one of the most important players on the Vikings’ roster in 2019. For someone who has played in just 15 of 32 possible games in his career, Cook will need to show that he can be the lead dog in the backfield and be able to stay healthy.
Stats may not be important in Sunday’s game, but just to see Cook back on the field (which looks probable according to Zimmer’s quotes this week) and looking healthy could be a very positive sign for the Vikings down the road.