Fantasy Football Instant Reaction: Vikings fear ACL injury for Dalvin Cook, opening opportunity for Jerick McKinnon, Latavius Murray

Dalvin Cook's season might be over after four games.

The sensational rookie rusher for the Vikings tried making a cut in the third quarter against the Lions but his left knee gave out. As he clutched it while falling to the ground, Lions defensive back Tavon Wilson knocked the ball out of his hand, forcing a fumble.

Cook was helped off the field and was able to walk to the locker room, but the outlook isn't particularly good. Sports Medical Analyst Dr. David Chao, via the San Diego Union-Tribune, believes the mechanics of the injury appear to be consistent with that of a torn ACL, based on the video. 

That would mean the end of Cook's 2017.

Update: Cook left the locker room in a knee brace and on crutches, and Vikings' coach Mike Zimmer told reporters after the game they fear it is an ACL injury for Cook, though he will have an MRI to confirm the extent of the injury Monday: 

After Cook's departure the Vikings turned to Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon as their rushing tandem. McKinnon briefly left the game after suffering an ankle injury but returned quickly. 

Murray has mild appeal for Fantasy -- last year with the Raiders, he was a touchdown-heavy big back who needed a lot of carries to be good for a decent yardage total from week to week. He also is a decent pass catcher. However, he did all of that behind a terrific Oakland offensive line.

McKinnon is much smaller and quicker and also has good hands, but has rarely been given opportunities to be a featured-type runner for the Vikings. He had a career-high 159 carries last season, but averaged just 3.4 yards per tote on them and regularly ceded playing time to then-teammate Matt Asiata. 

Murray has more appeal than McKinnon moving forward. He's simply had more success as a featured back in the past. But it's not like either one will be phenomenal weekly starters for your Fantasy squad.  

Overall, it's a horrible blow to the Vikings offense and Fantasy players. Cook was a huge factor who benefited from an upstart passing game and surprisingly good offensive line following an offseason rebuild. Without him, Minnesota's offense doesn't offer quite as much excitement -- and that goes double for Fantasy lineups that try to replace Cook with Murray. 

Senior Fantasy Writer

Dave Richard has spent nearly his entire career covering the National Football League. Beginning with NFL.com at the boom of the Internet, Richard was that site's first Fantasy Football writer before transitioning... Full Bio

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