Vikings RB Dalvin Cook expected to be game-time decision Sunday
EAGAN, Minn. — For the second straight week, it's shaping up to be a game-time decision on Dalvin Cook.
The Vikings running back sat out practice Thursday, Oct. 4, with a hamstring injury, the second straight day he missed. Coach Mike Zimmer said Cook most likely will be listed as questionable when the final injury report for Sunday's game at Philadelphia in released Friday afternoon.
Cook was hurt in overtime of a 29-29 tie at Green Bay on Sept. 16 and sat out a Sept. 23 loss to Buffalo. He was a game-time decision Sept. 27 against the Rams at Los Angeles Coliseum and carried 10 times for 20 yards in the first half.
On Monday, he said his hamstring was 'still healing."
With Cook missing time, that has hampered Minnesota's running game. The Vikings are last in the NFL with an average of 63 yards per game on the ground.
"There's no one in this building that wants to run the ball more than I do,'' said offensive coordinator John DeFilippo. "Because it takes a lot of pressure off me to not have to have the perfect protection, to not have to call the perfect route against the coverage you think you're going to get."
Also sitting out practice Thursday were cornerback Trae Waynes (concussion) and defensive ends Everson Griffen (personal reasons) and Tashawn Bower (ankle). Listed as limited for the second straight day was cornerback Marcus Sherels (ribs). Defensive tackle Linval Joseph (shoulder) was a full participant after being limited Wednesday.
Griffen has been ruled out against the Eagles. If Bower can't play, that could leave the Vikings with starters Danielle Hunter and Stephen Weatherly as the only defensive ends available.
"Well, we're thin,'' Zimmer said.
Zimmer wouldn't speculate on what the Vikings might do if Bower is out. He went through stretching drills Thursday and then limped off the field.
The Vikings have rookie defensive tackle Jalyn Holmes, who played defensive end at Ohio State. Last Monday, they signed rookie defensive end Jonathan Wynn to the practice squad, but it would take roster move for him to play Sunday.
"I was just training in Nashville, where I reside, and just trying to stay ready for a call at any moment,'' said Wynn, who was with Minnesota in the preseason before being waived. "To be back here is a dream come true.''
Zimmer said linebacker Kentrell Brothers has looked "OK" in practice since returning from a four-game NFL suspension but declined to speculate whether he could be restored to the roster for Sunday's game.
The Vikings have a roster exemption on Brothers that expires Monday so could wait until then to place the special teams performer back on the 53-man roster.
"He looks like he's in shape, so I hope to use him this weekend," special teams coordinator Mike Priefer said. "Obviously, it's not my call whether or not he's active, but we're going to prepare like he is and we'll have somebody ready if he's not."
Working his way back
Rookie defensive end Ade Aruna, who had surgery in late August to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, is walking well and said he will be ready for spring drills.
A sixth-round pick, Aruna was hurt in an Aug. 18 preseason game against Jacksonville. He was ruled out for the season and placed on injured reserve.
"I'm feeling good since my surgery,'" he said. "Nobody wants to be in that situation, and I was kind of down for a week or two after I was hurt and I couldn't play football. But then I said I've just got to keep working and try to do everything I can to come back."