Vikings RB Dalvin Cook projected to miss multiple games in 2021

(Photo by Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) Dalvin Cook
(Photo by Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) Dalvin Cook /

Will a heavy workload during the last two years catch up to Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook during the upcoming 2021 season?

When Dalvin Cook finished his second season with the Minnesota Vikings in 2018, there were more than a few people that labeled the running back as injury-prone.

It’s hard to blame them though since Cook missed 12 games in 2017 due to a torn ACL and then injuries kept him out for another five matchups in 2018.

Since then, however, the Vikings running back has been on the field more often than not. In 2019, Cook only missed two contests due to injury, and then last season, he missed a grand total of one game for injury-related reasons.

How durable will Dalvin Cook be for the Minnesota Vikings in 2021?

Since he’s being able to remain on the field for a longer period of time in each of the last two seasons, Cook has been heavily involved in Minnesota’s offense.

In 2019, the Vikings running back finished with 349 touches (including the playoffs), and then during the 2020 campaign, he accumulated another 356 touches. With there now being 17 games on the regular-season schedule, will Minnesota look to reduce some of Cook’s touches each week in order to keep him healthy for a potential playoff run?

Even though the Vikings running back has done much better at avoiding injuries that prevent him from playing, is still projecting him to miss three games during the upcoming season.

They also have Cook with an 87 percent chance of getting injured in 2021, which is the fourth-highest percentage among running NFL backs behind Derrick Henry (90 percent), Leonard Fournette (89 percent), Tevin Coleman (88 percent), James Conner (88 percent), and Josh Jacobs (88 percent).

If Minnesota continues to utilize Cook at a high rate next season, which is expected, then there is certainly a good chance that he could miss a few games due to injury.

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Hopefully, the Vikings are better prepared to handle his absence than they have been in the last two years when they failed to get a win in each of the three matchups he was sidelined.