Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook is having a career year. The former second-round pick has rushed for 1,130 yards and 13 touchdowns on 219 carries, and has been the Vikings' go-to weapon on offense. Cook has dealt with some injuries over his four seasons in the NFL, and his health is certainly something to keep an eye on as the Vikings continue to fight for a spot in the postseason. On Wednesday, a reporter asked Cook if he was concerned about possibly wearing down as the season progresses, and the Pro Bowl back clearly took some offense to the inquiry.
"I don't know what that is. What is that — wear down? What does that mean?" Cook said, via Pro Football Talk. "I'm a running back. I'm a running back just like anybody else. I don't think that's a question you'll ask Derrick Henry or anybody else. I'm a running back. There's no wearing down. I'm ready to tote the ball."
Henry and Cook have been trading the league rushing lead back and forth this season, as the Tennessee Titans star back has recorded 1,257 rushing yards so far this season. When it comes to a running back who refuses to fade as the season goes on, Cook is right to bring up Henry. The reigning rushing champion not only doesn't fade towards the end of the year, he actually gets better.
In December and January since 2018 (including the playoffs), Henry leads all players in rushes per game (23.1), rushing yards per game (135.0) and rushing touchdowns (16). That's a 16-game pace of 2,160 yards if you were curious, and the NFL record for rushing yards in a season is 2,105, which was set by Eric Dickerson in 1980. Henry kicked off his "second half of the season" in a big way this past Sunday, as he rushed for 178 yards and three touchdowns in a blowout win over the Indianapolis Colts. All three of his touchdowns came in the first half.
Cook will be looking to put up big numbers like Henry has recently in order to challenge him for the rushing title. More importantly, however, success from Cook usually translates to the Vikings finding success as well.