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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Mike Zimmer on Dalvin Cook’s return: ‘This game will help him a lot’

By Matthew Coller

Before Sunday’s opener against the San Francisco 49ers, Dalvin Cook had barely run or caught the football in a game since Week 4 of 2017 when he tore his ACL against the Detroit Lions. He only appeared in the Minnesota Vikings’ third preseason game and just for one series.

At US Bank Stadium on Sunday, he didn’t show many signs of rust, picking up 95 all-purpose yards, many of which were gained after contact.

“I thought he had some good runs,” head coach Mike Zimmer said. “Sometimes there wasn’t anything there but he ran hard. The one ball he fumbled, that was going to be a great run until he fumbled. He hasn’t had a lot of contact, we’ll get some more. I think this game will help him a lot.”

Cook entered with high expectations following a blazing start to his rookie year. Throughout the offseason, he has been ahead of schedule from his ACL injury, returning to practice in minicamp and working in throughout the entire training camp.

”As a football player, once you get that first play out of the way, it’s all football,” Cook said. “Then you can lock in and do what you want to do.”

Quarterback Kirk Cousins used Cook routinely in the passing game, finding him six times during the Vikings’ 24-16 win.

“I heard so many things about how dynamic of a player he is and until you really get out there in a real game, it’s hard to truly tell,” Cousins said. “I saw for the first time how special he is as a running back.”

Cook split carries with Latavius Murray, who took over the No. 1 job after Cook’s injury last season. Murray gained 42 yards on 11 rushes and helped kill clock with the Vikings up by eight late in the game.

“He had some good carries, he caught the ball well out of the backfield, he did some really good things,” Murray said of Cook’s day. “I think embracing [his return from injury] and not thinking, ‘let me ease my way back into it’ or ‘let me take this thing slow.’”

The post Mike Zimmer on Dalvin Cook’s return: ‘This game will help him a lot’ appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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