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Dalvin Cook expecting to play tonight vs Steelers

Andrew Buller-Russ
NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Pittsburgh Steelers
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Just 11 days after tearing his labrum and dislocating his shoulder, Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook is hoping to get back on the field for Thursday Night Football. It’s a shocking development since Cook is rumored to also have a torn labrum on his other shoulder. Cook was presumed to miss several weeks, if not the season.

As NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports Cook’s expecting to return, but he’s not in the clear yet. Although he received first-team reps in practice and has supposedly passed all tests on his shoulder, he will test it again during pre-game warmups for the final declaration. If he receives full medical clearance, Cook will be in the lineup for Thursday’s primetime event.

Pelissero also added the team initially expected Cook back for their Dec. 20 inner-division duel with the Chicago Bears, but Cook’s been working his butt off during rehab sessions, moving up his timeline to return. Still, Cook will likely wear more protection in the form of a shoulder harness or something of the like to help prevent any further injury.

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Cook missed his Week 13 game against the Detroit Lions but was also fully expected to miss the matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers as well, especially since he hasn’t even had two full weeks to recover. Some initially wondered whether the injury would wipe out the rest of Cook’s season, but the star back is clearly motivated to try and help the 5-7 Vikings turn their season around.

Alexander Mattison did very well in Cook’s absence last week and should return to a reserve role this week, should Cook be available. Mattison tallied 90 rushing yards on 22 carries and added another 34 yards through the air. Though it’s possible Mattison receives more carries than usual since Cook is far from 100%.

Stay tuned to pre-game reports regarding Dalvin Cook’s chances to play. This is unlikely to be the only report regarding his playing status today.