The Vikings dodged the worst-case scenario after Dalvin Cook was carted off during their Sunday loss to the 49ers, with an MRI reportedly revealing Monday that the star running back suffered a torn labrum. But coach Mike Zimmer told reporters later in the day that Cook did not, in fact, tear his labrum, declining to elaborate on the running back's injury and suggesting Cook is "day-to-day." ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Monday night that Cook is expected to miss a minimum of two weeks, even after Zimmer didn't rule out Cook suiting up for Sunday's game against the Lions.
The hope, Schefter reported, is that Cook will actually return in Week 15 against the Bears, who will host the Vikings on Dec. 20 on "Monday Night Football" after Minnesota enjoys a long break following "Thursday Night Football" the week before. CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora previously reported that the Vikings had not yet decided whether to place Cook on injured reserve, which would've guaranteed a three-game absence, in part because Cook has overcome a torn labrum before, missing the final two games of 2019 with a similar issue.
"We'll just see how Dalvin's doing," Zimmer told reporters Monday, however. "It'll be day-to-day and we'll see where it goes. It's day-to-day, that's what they're telling me."
Asked specifically if Cook tore his labrum, Zimmer was blunt: "No." Asked if he would explain Cook's diagnosis, he doubled down on the secrecy: "No. I'm not gonna say."
A two-game absence would leave the Vikings without their top ball-carrier against the Lions this Sunday and the Steelers in Week 14. Alexander Mattison is in line to replace Cook as the No. 1 back in the meantime. Earlier this year, he started two games while Cook battled an ankle injury, rushing for 225 yards and adding 99 yards as a pass-catcher during that stretch.
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