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Vikings Ground Game Key to Grinding Clock

EAGAN, Minn. — Dalvin Cook is "getting back to feeling like Dalvin."

That's possibly the best news of the week for the 1-5 Vikings as they prepare to visit the 5-1 Packers at noon (CT) Sunday.

Cook said Wednesday that resting in Week 6 when Minnesota hosted Atlanta helped the effects of last week's bye.

The running back has been working through a groin injury he suffered on the opening play of the second half at Seattle in Week 5 and said the extra week helped.

He was listed Wednesday as a "limited" participant at practice, but that's encouraging after two weeks of rest and recovery.

Cook said the time in between was spent "strengthening" himself.

View photos of the Vikings preparing to take on the Packers during practice at TCO Performance Center on Oct. 28.

"Just really, last week, getting back on my feet," Cook said. "Just get my feet back under me after I took that week off. Just feeling the ground again. That was most important for me. The body is going to heal itself. My body is pretty good at healing up and getting back out there. It's going to heal itself; it's just me getting back in game shape and game-like activities to get ready to play."

Cook leads all non-kickers in scoring with 48 points and has rushed for seven touchdowns, which is tied for the NFL lead. He also has 489 yards on the ground in four-and-a-half games.

The Vikings rank sixth in the NFL in rushing yards per game (139.2) and fifth in rushing yards per play (5.00), and it's no surprise given the emphasis the team has placed on running the football.

The impetus could be even stronger at Lambeau Field on a day that is predicting to be marked by Northwest winds at 25 to 35 miles per hour with gusts over 40 mph.

Minnesota would like to flip the script from the first Border Battle of 2020 by protecting the football and sustaining drives to play more on their terms than in Week 1.

Green Bay won the turnover margin 1-0, ran 76 offensive plays compared to 49 by Minnesota, limited the Vikings to six or fewer plays on seven possessions and held the ball a total of 41:16.

The Packers closed the second quarter strongly, scoring two touchdowns in the final 39 seconds of the first half to balloon an 8-7 edge into a 22-7 margin. The Vikings answered by going 58 yards in 14 seconds for a field goal, but it wasn't enough to reverse momentum.

"There's always a sense of urgency for us to keep the offense on the field for our defense and keep them as fresh as possible," Cook said. "Especially this week, we have to possess the football. We have to keep Aaron Rodgers off the field as much as we can, and that's helping our defense. No pressure or nothing like that. It's just doing our job and executing, that's what it comes down to. No extra pressure. None of that."