EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings announced Thursday that they have placed running back Dalvin Cook on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
Vikings Offensive Coordinator Klint Kubiak said Thursday Cook will not play Sunday against the Rams.
"Big challenge not having Dalvin," Kubiak said. "Obviously a team captain and great player. Unfortunately, he won't be available."
Cook, who was named to the Pro Bowl on Monday, leads the NFC (and ranks third in the NFL) with 1,067 rushing yards. He has 226 carries and six scores on the season.
Cook's absence will be a massive blow to the Vikings offense — and the team in general — as Minnesota tries to get into the playoffs down the stretch. The Vikings (7-7) currently hold the third and final NFC Wild Card spot with three games left.
View photos of the Vikings 53-man roster as of Jan. 5, 2022.
Alexander Mattison, who was activated off the Reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, is now in line to start against the Rams on Sunday. The Vikings also have fullback C.J. Ham and running backs Kene Nwangwu and Wayne Gallman on the active roster.
"We've been through this this year already, and guys have stepped up," Kubiak said. "Alex has stepped up, Kene is getting more comfortable, and it's Week 2 with Wayne Gallman. Hammer has always been a Swiss Army knife. We've just got to go with the guys that we've got."
Justin Jefferson said the Vikings offense will have to find a way to succeed without the star running back.
"Just knowing how much he wanted to be out there with us, knowing how much he loves the game, just loves competing with us, it's definitely tough not having a player like him on that field," Jefferson said. "But I know Matt is going to do a great job. I know the other backs that we have are going to do a great job replacing him.
"We just know as receivers that we've got to step up a little bit more," Jefferson added. "We've got to make those plays, those 1-on-1 balls. We've just got to come mentally prepared to do what we've got to do."
Additionally, the Vikings signed running back A.J. Rose, Jr., to the practice squad.
Minnesota also announced that cornerback Tye Smith was placed on the Practice Squad Reserve/COVID-19 list.
The Vikings also activated wide receiver Dan Chisena from the Reserve/COVID-19 list and guard Kyle Hinton from the activated from the Practice Squad Reserve/COVID-19 list.