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Week 7 injury watch: Curious case of Dalvin Cook's hamstring

  • By Jason B. Hirschhorn
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Just a week ago, it appeared Dalvin Cook had finally received the green light to return to action. Instead, he went back on the shelf with a hamstring injury and has remained there since.

The Vikings' star running back hadn't played since a Sept. 27 matchup with the Rams, a game in which Cook and the ground game quickly became an afterthought. Cook suffered some sort of setback with his hamstring, forcing the Minnesota medical staff to take an ultra-cautious approach with his rehab. Cook missed most of practice in advance of Week 5 despite officially receiving the questionable tag.

However, Cook finally seemed ready to return last Sunday after practicing in full the entire week. That plan changed when Cook felt off during pregame warm-ups. He missed the game and will now miss another after missing the practice Thursday and Friday.

Cook's mysterious injury headline's Week 7's injury watch, but other situations merit attention as well.

Bears: Allen Robinson (groin) - The Bears officially declared Allen Robinson as questionable to play, but the star wideout returned to practice Friday after missing Thursday's session. Chicago will need all of their firepower to compete with the Patriots, and Robinson has caught two touchdowns over the past two games.

Colts: T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) - The Colts haven't played with T.Y. Hilton since Week 4, but the signs point to the wideout making his October debut on Sunday. Hilton participated each day this week, convincing the team to remove him from the injury report. Barring a last-second setback, Andrew Luck should have his No. 1 receiver back in uniform against Bills.

Falcons: Calvin Ridley (ankle), Mohamed Sanu (hamstring) - Calvin Ridley didn't make it through the first quarter of last week's game, but he has a chance to return this Monday. Ridley returned to practice in a limited capacity Friday, an important step for a rookie wideout in need of every available rep. The news doesn't look as positive for Mohamed Sanu, who missed his second consecutive day of practice. If either or both receivers miss Sunday's game, tight end Austin Hooper should receive double-digit targets for a third straight week.

Giants: Evan Engram (knee) - After two straight days of full practice, tight end Evan Engram seems well on his way towards playing Monday in Atlanta. Engram hasn't suited up since Sept. 23, leaving an already shallow tight-end pool with even less high-upside talent. Though Engram did little during two of his three appearances this season, a matchup with the Deion Jones-less Falcons could get him back on track.

Jaguars: Leonard Fournette (hamstring), T.J. Yeldon (ankle) - Leonard Fournette's lingering hamstring injury will sideline him for his fifth game in six weeks, but his trouble doesn't end there. The Jaguars signed Jamaal Charles last week and traded for Browns starter Carlos Hyde on Friday, suggesting that Fournette could miss even more time. Meanwhile, the team removed T.J. Yeldon from the injury report. Hyde might eat into his workload, but Yeldon remains the starter until further notice.

Jets: Isaiah Crowell (foot) - Isaiah Crowell returned to practice Friday after sitting out the previous two days, following the same pattern as the week before. Barring a setback, the Jets expect him to play Sunday against the Vikings.

Lions: Theo Riddick (knee) - The Lions ruled out Theo Riddick after the versatile running back missed the entire week of practice. Riddick hadn't seen many touches since the early portions of the season, and he might have a hard time improving his workload once he does return to action.

Rams: Cooper Kupp (knee), Greg Zuerlein (groin) - Though Cooper Kupp somehow managed to play through a strained MCL during last Sunday's tilt with the Broncos, the Rams will have to play this week without him. Head coach Sean McVay announced the news on Monday, suggesting that Kupp might miss even more time as he recovers. Meanwhile, place kicker Greg Zuerlein will finally return to action after a lengthy injury absence.

Redskins: Jamison Crowder (ankle), Adrian Peterson (ankle), Chris Thompson (ribs, knee) - Washington officially listed both Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson as questionable to play in Sunday's game against the Cowboys, but the two running backs have significantly different outlooks. Thompson practiced only in a limited capacity this week while Peterson expressed confidence that he will suit up. In the receiving corps, Jamison Crowder will sit out against Dallas.

Texans: DeAndre Hopkins (foot) - The Texans decided to remove DeAndre Hopkins from their injury report after the wideout practiced on a limited basis Friday. Though he will play, Hopkins faces a tough matchup with a Jaguars defense featuring Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. Hopkins recorded only 120 combined yards during his two matchups with Jacksonville last season, though he did record a touchdown in each game.

Vikings: Dalvin Cook (hamstring) - The condition of Dalvin Cook's hamstring has become the most mysterious injury situation in the NFL. It appears that the Vikings will not let him back onto the field until he has fully recovered, an approach that might keep him from the field beyond this week. Either way, Cook will not play this weekend.