MINNEAPOLIS – The Vikings knew they had to get their run game off the ground Sunday.
Though Detroit didn't make it easy, Minnesota established more balance between the run and the pass en route to a nail-biter 28-24 win over the Lions.
Dalvin Cook racked up 96 rushing yards and a touchdown on 17 carries before leaving the game with a shoulder injury. The play also resulted in a fumble recovered by Detroit.
Vikings Head Coach Kevin O'Connell provided an update on Cook postgame, saying it was an unfortunate loss after a "phenomenal" outing by No. 4.
"But he'll be day-to-day. We'll run some tests," O'Connell said. "We should have some time to hopefully get him turned over, and he's already told me after we scored, I asked him how he was doing, he said, 'I'll be out there next week.' "
The Vikings next game will be part of the NFL's International Series, a Sunday matchup against the Saints in London.
"We'll do what's best for Dalvin and make sure that [Executive Director of Player Health and Performance] Tyler [Williams] and [Head Athletic Trainer Uriah Myrie] and our doctors make those decisions," O'Connell emphasized. "But what a competitor, and I'm really proud of the work he put in today, knowing we would come back to him after not getting them the rock enough last Monday."
Running back Alexander Mattison assured Cook was in good spirits on the sideline.
"You can't break him," Mattison said. "Strong-minded, strong-willed."
The Vikings totaled 69 rushing yards in the first half, including 51 from Cook, which surpassed the team's total of 62 yards in its loss at Philadelphia.
Cook's longest run of the afternoon occurred in the second quarter, when he totaled 13 yards on first down. The play helped Minnesota move the ball on a drive that ended with a 1-yard Adam Thielen touchdown to put the Vikings on the board.
Later that quarter, inside of a minute-and-a-half remaining, Cook ran in a 4-yard touchdown to tie the game at 14-14.
He kept things going into the third quarter, when he surpassed 5,000 career rushing yards.
Cook, who entered the Week 3 contest with 4,927 rushing yards, reached the benchmark on a 7-yard run in the third quarter. He bookended the carry with runs of 11 and 7 yards, respectively.
The sixth-year running back remains fifth in rushing yards in Vikings franchise history, trailing Adrian Peterson (11,747), Robert Smith (6,818), Chuck Foreman (5,887) and Bill Brown (5,757).
Peterson was the fastest Viking to reach 5,000 career rushing yards, doing so early in his fourth season. Cook and Foreman each reached the mark during their sixth seasons with Minnesota. Smith accomplished the feat during his seventh season, and Brown did so in his 10th.
Sunday marked Cook's 59th regular-season game – and 58th start – since being drafted by Minnesota in 2017.
The Vikings rotated in Mattison along with Cook, and when the starting back left the game with injury, his counterpart took the load.
Mattison recorded seven carries for 28 yards and a touchdown. The much-needed score occurred midway through the fourth quarter and cut the deficit to 3 for the Vikings.
He noted Minnesota's execution of complementary football on that series that saw five different Vikings handle the ball.
"The way we marched down there was just amazing on that drive," Mattison said. "As soon as we got that play call in, I kind of knew where the run was gonna hit, just looking at the way they lined up, and then trusting in my O-line to go out there and do what they did. They got those guys moved, and we had a backside corner that we just, you know, it's me and him. I think there was another guy, another safety, that had come down and the receiver was blocking.
"That's will-on-will on that play, and all credit to the O-line up front," he added.
The touchdown was Mattison's first of the season and seventh rushing score of his career.
"Simply with the group of guys that we have, we're never out of it," Mattison said. "Just leaning on one another as you see out there. […] It all came together at the end of the day."
"I thought Alex was really, really solid – [that] kinda 1-2 punch that we have," O'Connell said.