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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Dalvin Cook using recovery as an opportunity to grow

By Matthew Coller

Dalvin Cook didn’t come across as bitter about a knee injury that crushed his rookie season.

”Nice to see y’all again,” Cook said to open his first press conference since tearing his ACL against Detroit in Week 4.

The Vikings’ second-round pick flashed brilliance to open the season, gaining 354 yards on 74 carries and grabbing 11 passes for 90 yards. Then in the third quarter in a 14-7 loss at US Bank Stadium, he took a sharp cut and went down.

“This process here, it will challenge your manhood, it will challenge you real hard,” Cook said. “Going through those first two weeks, man, it’s crazy because you have the pain levels, you have to fight through it going through the rehab. You have to take your mindset to another level.”

Cook said his rehab has gone well. He’s off crutches, though there is no clear timeline yet. At the moment, he’s trying to take oranges and make orange juice.

“I’m still learning how to be a pro, but I’m taking those steps forward,” Cook said. “I think this injury is helping me keep progressing, sitting back watching how these guys get stuff done, how Latavius and [Jerick McKinnon] take care of their bodies, how they do stuff around here.”

”I’m young, I’m going to get healthy…there’s still steps you have to take to be a true pro at this game and with my injury, I’m taking those steps.”

Teddy Bridgewater, who just returned from a 15 month absence with a severe knee injury, called Cook every day following his injury, checking up on the rookie’s surgery and making sure his spirits stayed high.

”He’s right there next to me every day, pushing me, telling me, ‘Just keep your head down, keep working,’” Cook said. “He’s been through it. Teddy’s a good guy overall just to have in your corner when you’re going through tough times. Even if he didn’t go through it, he’d still know the right stuff to say to you to get you through the whole process.”

Bridgewater isn’t the only one who has supported Cook. He’s spent a lot of time in the training room with Sam Bradford, who was placed on Injured Reserve last week.

“I’ve finally gotten to see Sam’s personality,” Cook said.

“You hear Sam say, ‘down, set, hut,’ but to sit there and have a conversation with him, Sam’s a quiet guy, just to talk to him, it’s good,” Cook added. “It isn’t good for both of us to be on the table, but it is good to have conversations with him.”

Cook said he started lifting this week.

”I was dead the first day,” he said, laughing. “It was good. I was kind of dead but at the end you feel great. It feels like I’m back into it.”

The Vikings’ current franchise running back is aware of his predecessor Adrian Peterson’s success coming off an ACL injury. Peterson went for over 2,000 yards in 2012 after tearing his ACL late in the 2011 season.

“A.P. came back incredible, he’s just a freak of nature,” Cook said. “You rarely get guys like that. When you get ACL surgery, that’s the main goal. You want to come back like A.P. So my main goal is to come back as quick as I can and as healthy as I can to help this team win football games.”

The post Dalvin Cook using recovery as an opportunity to grow appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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