4 Vikings players who will keep the 2020 season interesting

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Justin Jefferson
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Justin Jefferson /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports) Dalvin Cook /

Dalvin Cook – RB

Dalvin Cook‘s presence was sorely missed. But there is little doubt the running back is looking to make up for some lost time.

The Minnesota Vikings got their best offensive player back in the lineup against the Packers, which brought around an instant turnaround in their fortunes. Cook was leaned on heavily throughout the one-sided affair than eventually saw the former second-round pick secure four touchdowns and 226 all-purpose yards from 36 combined touches.

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Cook is the heartbeat of Minnesota’s offense when firing on all cylinders. He’s not carrying the offense in the same way Christian McCaffrey did with the Panthers in 2019 due to some prominent weapons in the passing game. But that doesn’t detract from what a vital component he’s going to be in pursuit of short and long-term success.

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Vikings lean on Cook heavily from here on in. This should benefit quarterback Kirk Cousins in addition to Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen as opposing defenses stack the box to limit the star back, which is yet another vital element to his contribution that often goes overlooked.

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The player’s contract dispute was one of the offseason’s big talking points. Thankfully for Cook and the Vikings, this was sorted before competitive action began and now all the interesting things to focus on will be regarding his production on the field.