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Lunchbreak: Cronin Predicts Dalvin Cook Making Impact in Multiple Ways

Dalvin Cook has flashed plenty of big-play potential over his first two seasons in the league.

The running back rushed for 288 yards and a touchdown on 61 carries over the first three games of his career, a strong start for the 2017 second-round pick.

Cook ripped off a 70-yard run in Week 9 of the 2019 season against the Lions, and had a sterling performance in Week 15 against the Dolphins with 136 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries.

But the former Florida State standout has also been hampered by injuries and has played just 15 games in two seasons due to a torn ACL in 2017 and a nagging hamstring issue in 2018.

Yet as the 2019 season looms, ESPN Vikings beat writer Courtney Cronin believes Cook is primed for his biggest season yet.

Cronin recently predicted the versatile running back will get 300-plus touches in his third season and become a dual-threat in Minnesota's offense.

Cronin wrote:

Minnesota wants to place a heavier emphasis on its rushing attack. [Cook is] also fully capable of catching passes out of the backfield and helping ignite the screen game. Injuries have limited Cook to 15 games over the past two seasons, and now that he's fully healthy with zero restrictions, it's time the Vikings utilize the running back as they envisioned when they drafted him.

Cook has 258 career touches through the first two seasons of his career.

He has 969 career rushing yards and four touchdowns on 207 carries, good for almost 4.7 yards per attempt. He also has 51 career receptions for 395 yards and two scores.

Cook was asked earlier in training camp about whether he considers himself a three-down running back.

"Yeah. I love catching the football and love making plays, so anyway I can get the ball in my hands and change the scoreboard or change the [first down] markers, I'm willing to do that," Cook said. "Any way possible. Catching the ball, running the football … I'm willing to do it. So yeah, I consider myself a three-down back."

Brooks gives Vedvik 'A' grade for preseason performance

The Vikings newest player received rave reviews for his preseason performance last week.

Specialist Kaare Vedvik did a bit of everything last Thursday with Baltimore, tallying 14 points on four field goals and two extra points, and attempted two punts and six kickoffs last Thursday with Baltimore. Minnesota acquired Vedvik via trade on Sunday. analyst Bucky Brooks gave Vedvik an ‘A’ grade for his performance against Jacksonville.

View images from the Vikings training camp practice on August 12 at TCO Performance Center.

Brooks wrote:

I'm bending the rules of this piece slightly for Vedvik, who signed with the Ravens in 2018 but spent last season on the non-football injury list and thus is functionally all but a rookie, because his case is so unique. It is uncommon for a placekicker to garner significant attention, but Vedvik landed on several teams' radars thanks to an impressive training camp performance in 2018 that included an 89 percent conversion rate (8 of 9) during the preseason.

Vedvik picked up where he left off with a strong showing in Baltimore's win over the Jaguars, finishing with a perfect night on field goals (4 of 4, including a 55-yarder) and a pair of 50-plus yard punts. The performance was so good, in fact, that the Vikings were enticed into giving the Ravens a [draft] pick for the emerging star.

Vedvik was born in Norway but came to the United States as a teenager to study abroad for one year in high school. He drew attention at kicking camps, building on his soccer background and ended up at Marshall University.

The 25-year-old was with Baltimore for the 2018 season before joining the Vikings over the weekend.