Mike Hughes has a lot on his mind this week.
In addition to prepping for his first taste of the NFC North rivalry with the Packers, Hughes is also thinking of his family and friends back home.
Hughes is from North Carolina, one of the states that is bracing for Hurricane Florence to impact the area. The rookie cornerback spoke with John Holler of Viking Update about how the impending storm is affecting those close to him.
Among the cities that current models of the storm track have as being near … when the storm makes landfall is New Bern, North Carolina. That town may not mean much to most people, but to Hughes, it means everything.
It’s his hometown and he has loved ones who are planning to flee the area before the worst of the storm hits the Carolinas.
“It’s supposed to be really bad where I’m [from],” Hughes said. “My mother and my grandmother are there, and they’re going to evacuate to go stay with some other family members who are a couple hours away and farther inland.”
Hughes had a successful pro debut against the 49ers, intercepting his first NFL pass and returning it 28 yards for a touchdown. He also had a pass breakup later in the game that prevented a San Francisco touchdown pass.
The 2018 first-round pick told Holler that he’s balancing football and family this week.
As for Sunday’s game, Hughes said his family is understanding that he has a job to do and that other family members will take the lead in getting the members of his family in the direct path of the storm to higher ground inland and ride out the storm as it weakens over land.
However, Hughes had a suggestion for his mom and grandma if they have a change of heart and want to take him up on it.
“I told them they can always come up here and stay with me,” Hughes said. “We don’t get hurricanes here.”
Cook rises in MJD’s running back rankings
Dalvin Cook made his regular-season return in a winning effort on Sunday as he helped the Vikings get a Week 1 victory over the 49ers.
The Vikings running back, who suffered a torn ACL in Week 4 of the 2017 season, didn’t score a touchdown against San Francisco but had 95 total yards on 22 touches.
Former NFL running back Maurice Jones-Drew, now an analyst for NFL.com, released his weekly running back rankings. Jones-Drew had Cook in the sixth spot, a three-spot jump from last week.
I loved seeing Cook back out on the field for the Vikings, and his presence was certainly felt on their scoring drives. Cook hasn't come close to reaching his potential, so stay tuned for more to come.
Cook had 40 yards on 16 carries and 55 receiving yards on a career-high six receptions. He was active early on for Minnesota, touching the ball on the first four offensive plays, and five of the first eight snaps, in the first quarter against the 49ers.
Cook had 354 rushing yards and two scores in three-plus games in 2017.