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.
The #Vikings have placed RB Dalvin Cook on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 23, 2021
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.
The Vikings placed Dalvin Cook, who follows the protocols for unvaccinated players, on the COVID/Reserve list. If he is indeed still unvaccinated, then he’s ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Rams.
— Chad Graff (@ChadGraff) December 23, 2021
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.
A huge loss for the team holding the last wildcard spot https://t.co/lkXvmtiFp3
— On The Road To Victory with Jimmy Smith (@OTR2Victory) December 23, 2021
Me looking at my fantasy team losing Dalvin Cook to Covid right before the semifinals pic.twitter.com/8tv35DCiIk
— Dillon Frazier 🦦 (@dillonfrazier98) December 23, 2021
As much as Dalvin Cook has a chance to take over a game any time he steps on the field, the Vikings have plenty of talent in the backfield to overcome his absence
— Matthew Coller (@MatthewColler) December 23, 2021
The Vikings are perfectly capable of winning without Dalvin Cook, btw
— Jared Barsness (@JaredBarsNFL) December 23, 2021
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.