EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. —Vikings rookie running back Dalvin Cook did suffer a torn ACL Sunday, Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer confirmed on Monday.
Cook was injured while making a cut in the third quarter against the Lions. He reached for his knee as Detroit safety Tavon Wilson came up to make the hit. Wilson knocked the ball loose, and the Lions recovered and followed by scoring their only touchdown of the game in a 14-7 decision.
"He does have a torn ACL, and we'll move forward from there," Zimmer said.
Cook was off to an impressive start. He totaled 354 yards in his first four games, which is the second-highest total in franchise history behind Adrian Peterson's 383 in 2007.
Cook's rush total and yards from scrimmage (444) ranked third in the NFL through four weeks.
Zimmer said he tried to encourage Cook after the game and Monday morning.
"He's a great kid, [I'm] extremely impressed with everything he's done to this point," Zimmer said. "It's obviously a terrible thing for him and us. We'll move forward and go from there. He's a great worker, and I have no doubt that he'll come back."
Zimmer said Cook must wait for swelling to go down before he can undergo surgery.
"On most of these ACLs, there's a little bit of cartilage [damage], I think meniscus, but it's nothing," Zimmer said. "It's the normal, typical ACL."
Zimmer also told Cook about past successful returns from an ACL injury, mentioning the "last great runner here."
Before Zimmer arrived with the Vikings, Peterson followed a torn ACL in 2011 by rushing for 2,097 yards in 2012.
As for now, the Vikings must go about replacing a dual threat who had runs of 33, 32, 26 and 25 yards in the first three weeks of the season, as well as a 36-yard reception in Week 3.
"I think the biggest thing was Dalvin had unbelievable big-play ability in a lot of different ways, so we're going to have to continue to look for more ways to implement some big plays in the offense," Zimmer said.
Behind Cook, the Vikings have Latavius Murray, Jerick McKinnon and C.J. Ham, who has played mostly at fullback this offseason. Bronson Hill is on the Vikings practice squad.
Murray underwent ankle surgery this offseason and has rushed 14 times for 38 yards.
"I just think I have a small sample size so it's hard to take a lot from it, other than for me personally, I feel like I could have done better," Murray said. "I think I need to stay with that mindset and continue to improve when I'm on the field every single day in practice and take it to Monday now and the rest of the year."
The Vikings (2-2) are next scheduled to visit the Bears (1-3) at Soldier Field on *Monday Night Football *next week.