5 Bold Predictions: Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints – Week 4

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

Cook won’t be himself against the Saints

One of the worst moments of Sunday’s win was when Dalvin Cook left the game with a dislocated shoulder. The star running back said he believed he could play against the Saints after the game, but having him sit out might be a better option.

Cook’s shoulder issues date back to his freshman year at Florida State. After tripping in the weight room during spring practice, Cook rebounded to become one of the best running backs in the nation. Even after aggravating the injury in the spring of 2016, Cook dominated to the tune of 1,765 yards and 19 touchdowns.

Of course, both of those scenarios offered plenty of time to recover, but Cook won’t have that luxury this time around. When he injured his shoulder in December 2019, he missed two games before returning for the playoffs. When he was carted off the field after the same injury in 2021, he missed the following game before returning to the field.

Going back throughout his career, Cook has needed at least one game to get healthy before returning to the lineup. A workhorse back under Mike Zimmer, it’s obvious that Cook wants to make a quick recovery. But O’Connell understands he has 14 games remaining and needs his star running back.

Although he practiced on Thursday, Cook’s status remains up in the air. With a new regime, Alexander Mattison is likely to take the load on Sunday.