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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Vikings react to losing Dalvin Cook for the year

By Matthew Coller

The Minnesota Vikings know a thing or two or three about dealing with crushing injuries. On Monday, the team was once again forced to recite “next man up” as they learned news that running back Dalvin Cook would be out for the remainder of the season with an ACL tear.

Cook suffered the injury while making a cut on a 10-yard run early in the third quarter of Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions. Mike Zimmer announced Monday morning that the team will be without it’s top runner for the rest of 2017.

”He’s a great kid,” Zimmer said. “I’m extremely impressed with him and what he’s done to this point. It’s a terrible thing for him and for us. But we’ll move forward. He’s a great worker and I have no doubt that he’ll come back.”

Zimmer said he tried to encourage his rookie back by pointing out that Adrian Peterson once returned from an ACL injury to lead the NFL in rushing.

“I talked to him last night about it, about the doctors that we have here and how they were able to rehab the last great runner here,” Zimmer said. “I expect him to come back and be the same as he was.”

Losing Cook is particularly difficult following his rise to the No. 1 spot during training camp and preseason. He impressed the coaching staff and teammates with his approach and ability to quickly pick up the offense. In the first four weeks, Cook flashed the explosiveness that helped him become the all-time leading rusher at Florida State. Zimmer said that will be hard to replace.

“I think the biggest thing was that Dalvin had unbelievable big-play ability in a lot of different ways,” Zimmer said. “We’re going to have to continue to look for more ways to implement big plays in the offense.”

Cook lead the team in yards from scrimmage with 444 and ranked third in the NFL in rushing yards despite missing the majority of the second half on Sunday.

“It’s devastating,” Everson Griffen said. “He started off very, very, very hot. We hate to see him go…it’s devastating to lose him, but it’s next man up mentality, we have Latavius Murray, [Jerick McKinnon], CJ Ham, we have guys that can get it done at a high level.”

”Seeing a guy like that who works his tail off and is a huge part of this team, it’s tough to see that,” Adam Thielen added. “At the same time, that’s how this league works. Somebody’s gotta step up.”

The player tasked with stepping into Cook’s role is Latavius Murray, who has become good friends with Cook during their time together.

”I just told him I’m praying for him and I told him I care about him,” Murray said.

The 2015 Pro Bowler has seen just 14 carries so far this year and gained 38 yards. Now he will carry the load he expected when signing in Minnesota.

“I don’t think it’s any different from previous times,” Murray said. “When I’m in there, I need to be productive.”

The post Vikings react to losing Dalvin Cook for the year appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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