Dalvin Cook 'ready to go' preseason action or not


Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer on Wednesday played it close to the vest surrounding running back Dalvin Cook, who returns from a torn ACL suffered in 2017.

Zimmer told reporters he knows if Cook will play in Saturday's preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but didn't share his plan during the press conference.

The Vikings have taken a safe approach with Cook, whose rookie campaign ended when he suffered the season-ending injury in Week 4, so it wouldn't surprise if Cook saw limited action or none at all Saturday.

Regardless of scenario, Cook emphatically believes he will be ready for the regular season should he see no playing time the rest of the preseason.

"Yeah, 100 percent," Cook told reporters Thursday, via the Vikings' official website. "I'm ready to go. Ball is ball, and when that ball rolls out, I'm going to go 100 percent, I'm going to fly around, I'm going to do me. Like I said, my knee is ready to go, I'm ready to play, and that's behind me. It's just football now."

With 354 yards rushing on 74 carries before suffering the ACL injury, Cook was on pace for a 1,000-yard campaign. He added 11 catches for 90 yards.

So far, so good on Cooks' recovery, and the Vikings know what they have in the second-year pro, who has been worked in during practices with a view to the regular season.

"The only thing we're trying to do is each day we're trying to stack on a few more plays, a few more days in a row," Zimmer told reporters, via the team's website. "That's really what we're trying to do, is trying to get him in game-ready shape."

And if that's what the coaching staff has in mind, Cook appears more than willing to place his full trust in the process.

"I know everybody wants to see me out on the field and all that, but the coaches know what's really going on, and they know I'm going to be ready to go once they call my number," Cook told reporters, via the team's website. "I don't get into the whole debate game of me playing or not. They pull my jersey, I don't play, I just sit it out and cheer my teammates on. When my number does get called to go out there, they know I'll be ready to go."

In the meantime, the Vikings can afford to continue a protective approach on Cook with less than a month to go before the regular season.

Minnesota has depth at the running back position with Latavius Murray, Mack Brown, Roc Thomas and Mike Boone currently on the roster.