Dalvin Cook says he’ll be ready to go for the Vikings home game against the Lions on Sunday.
Cook was injured during the third quarter of Minnesota’s Monday Night Football 37-30 loss in Seattle. The running back, who was on this week’s injury report with a chest injury, told media members following the game that he was hit by Seahawks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney in that same area.
“When he went to punch for the ball, he just hit me right on it, and it was kind of like a different feeling. It was different,” said Cook, who fumbled on the play. “He got me in a good spot, and that’s what happened.
“It’s a weird injury that I got,” he later added. “I kind of tried to land where it didn’t hurt, so it’s kind of awkward the way I was landing. But like I said, it’s a physical sport. End of the year, bumps and bruises, but I’ll be all right.”
Asked if the injury could be nagging or long-term, Cook brushed off the concern.
“I’m good. Part of the game,” he said. “It’s a physical sport, and that’s what comes with it. I just had to fight through it. I’ll be good, though.”
He later reiterated: “I’ll be good to go.”
Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer also was asked during his postgame press conference if he was worried about a serious injury to Cook.
“No,” Zimmer responded.
The Vikings will try to put a disappointing prime-time loss behind them as they turn the page on a short week.
Now at 8-4, Minnesota will play three of its final four regular-season games at home – and all three are against NFC North opponents.
Cook said understanding the magnitude of the final stretch led to his being kept out for the rest of Monday’s game. He pointed to the backs behind him, including rookie Alexander Mattison, who stepped up in his absence and can get the job done.
Mattison finished the game with 22 rushing yards on four carries and four catches for 51 yards through the air.
“[It was] precautionary. It’s a lot that we’ve got ahead of us, and the guys that are behind me – Alex and [Mike] Boone and Ameer [Abdullah] – they’re top guys,” Cook said. “They could be starting on somebody’s team. We’ve got a lot of trust in those guys. Alex came in and played a good game, Boone stepped in on some plays.
“So yeah, we just have to know what we’ve got ahead of us. We’ve got four crucial games ahead of us, and I have to be ready to go for those games. I was all-in for them holding me out and looking forward to what we’ve got ahead of us.”
Prior to leaving the game, Cook had nine carries for 22 yards and the Vikings opening drive touchdown. He also had three catches for 35 yards.
He emphasized the importance of ball security and did not use the injury as an excuse.
“No matter if I get injured or not, I can’t turn the ball over. I hold myself a thousand-percent responsible,” Cook said.
The Vikings attempted a late-game comeback, nearly overcoming a 17-point deficit and clawing their way back to within four, but they ultimately couldn’t overcome a third quarter that unraveled quickly.
Still, Cook highlighted the team’s resilience.
“We fought our tails off,” he said. “We had a chance to win at the end – very exciting, great environment to go win it in. We didn’t capitalize. But I’m proud of the guys how we fought, and we just have to respond quick.
“That’s the type of team we’ve got. We’re going to be ready to go on Sunday [against] Detroit,” Cook added. “Here we go.”