Dec 9, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) celebrates his touchdown during the second quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

At 7-7, the Minnesota Vikings are in the midst of a battle for an NFC playoff spot along with a multitude of other teams in a similar situation. To say that every game is a must-win from here on out would be an understatement. And the last thing they need is to be without their star players.

However, that appears as though it will be the case when they host the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. Per Ian Rapoport, running back Dalvin Cook has been placed on the COVID-19 list.

According to The Athletic’s Chad Graff, it is presumed that Cook is unvaccinated and, if so, he cannot come back in time for Sunday.

It would be a huge loss for Minnesota as Cook has 1,288 total yards and six touchdowns on the season, and seems to be peaking with his 205-yard performance against the Steelers two weeks back.

The team will presumably look to Alexander Mattison to handle the bulk of the rushing efforts. Mattison, who returned from COVID protocols earlier this week, has 432 yards and two touchdowns on the year. The good news for the Vikings is that, in the three games he started this season while Cook was injured, Alexander rushed for over 100 yards in two of them.

Regardless, there were plenty of big reactions on social media amongst NFL folks about the news.

We’ll see if the Vikings can get it done without Cook in this critical game, especially given how the Rams are also playing for their own playoff positioning.

[Ian Rapoport, Chad Graff]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to