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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Dalvin Cook could be ready for OTAs

By Matthew Coller

Mike Zimmer was noticeably disappointed when running back Dalvin Cook suffered a torn ACL in Week 4 against the Detroit Lions. It appears he is on track to participate in most, if not all, of the Vikings’ offseason activities.

Speaking at the NFL Combine on Thursday, Zimmer said there is a chance Cook could return for OTAs, which take place in late May/early June.

“I think he’s going to be pretty close. [Trainer Eric Sugarman] tells me he’s doing great and he should be as good as new, better,” Zimmer said.

Cook rushed for 354 yards on just 74 carries in his four games. The former Florida State star won the starting job out of traing camp, beating out Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon. When Cook went down, Murray and McKinnon performed admirably, leading the Vikings to the seventh best run attack in the NFL.

McKinnon is a free agent and the Vikings could move on from Murray without significant cap penalty, but it appears Zimmer sees the veteran as am important piece, even if Cook gets the lion’s share of the workload.

“I think he’s going to get a lot of plays,” Zimmer said. “The one thing we have to be careful about with Dalvin is, you know, we don’t wear him out. It’s a long season, we’ve got to be smart about it, so we’ll have to have a – not necessarily a pitch count but be mindful that it’s a 16 game, maybe 20 game season and we’re going to have to be smart about how we use him. Because he is a three-down back.”

Murray had a slow start to the season, in large part due to offseason ankle surgery, but finished with 842 yards and eight touchdowns.

“Latavius, he played really well for us this year, helped us a lot,” Zimmer said. “Had a lot of explosive runs. But he was physical and I think that’s part of the mentality that I’m trying to continue to bring here is we want to be a physical football team and when the game’s on the line, you know we’re going to run. We’re going to run and tell you to stop us.”

The post Dalvin Cook could be ready for OTAs appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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