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Zimmer Rules Out Cook, Griffen; Says Elflein Will Play vs. Bills

EAGAN, Minn. — Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer on Friday ruled out running back Dalvin Cook and defensive end Everson Griffen for Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills.

Cook suffered a hamstring injury at Green Bay last week and did not practice any day this week.

Griffen (knee) also did not practice this week.

Cook has rushed 26 times for 78 yards (3.0 per carry) with a long of 15 this season. The second-year pro also has caught nine passes for 107 yards (11.9 per reception) with a long of 24.

Veteran Latavius Murray, who attended high school about two-and-a-half hours from Buffalo, has rushed 15 times for 61 yards (4.1 per carry). The Vikings also have undrafted rookies Mike Boone and Roc Thomas at running back, as well as fullback C.J. Ham.

Boone and Thomas have been inactive the first two weeks of the season. Both had shining moments in the preseason, and Minnesota opted to keep both when reducing the roster from 90 to 53.

Griffen has seven tackles, two tackles for loss, 1.0 sack and a pass breakup on the season. He will miss out on trying to follow up a 3.0-sack game against Buffalo in 2014.

Zimmer was asked Friday if Minnesota’s Week 4 game at the Los Angeles Rams next Thursday affected decisions on the status of players and said no.

“It doesn’t. If they can play, they play,” Zimmer said. “We’re not worried about next week. We’re worried about the Buffalo Bills.”

At defensive end, the Vikings will have Danielle Hunter, Stephen Weatherly and Tashawn Bower.

The Vikings did have a positive, with center Pat Elflein in line to play for the first time since the NFC Championship Game.

The 2017 PFWA All-Rookie offensive lineman has been rehabbing shoulder and ankle injuries.

Zimmer said Elflein will play but won’t start against the Bills.

“We have a goal for him, and we’ve talked about it, so we’ll see how it goes Sunday,” Zimmer said.

Brett Jones, who was acquired in a trade with the New York Giants in August, has started the first two games of the season and been flanked by Tom Compton at left guard and Mike Remmers at right guard.

In addition to Griffen and Cook, the Vikings will also be without Marcus Sherels (ribs) and David Morgan (knee). Both were ruled out after missing practice all week.

Mike Boone (groin) was added to the injury report on Friday and is officially listed as questionable.

Buffalo will be without DE Shaq Lawson (hamstring).

Phillip Gaines, Taron Johnson, Taiwan Jones, Ray-Ray McCloud, and LeSean McCoy have all been listed as questionable.

Sunday’s game will be broadcasted on CBS. For more information on how to watch or listen, click here.

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