Packers: Vikings could be without Dalvin Cook in Week 16

Dalvin Cook, Green Bay Packers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Dalvin Cook, Green Bay Packers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

It won’t be easy for the Green Bay Packers to become the first road team to win at U.S. Bank Stadium this season, but the Minnesota Vikings could be without their top two running backs.

Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison both missed practice on Thursday. Cook left last week’s game with a chest injury and didn’t return, while Mattison didn’t play due to an ankle injury.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Thursday that Cook is “unlikely to play” against the Packers on Monday night.

It remains to be seen whether Mattison will be able to return for this game. He would likely be the lead back if he’s healthy and Cook misses the game.

But the Vikings offense could be without two important players in this game if both Cook and Mattison are out.

Minnesota’s success on offense starts with a dominant run game. According to Team Rankings, the Vikings’ passing play percentage is just 50.11 percent, which means they run the ball 49.89 percent of the time, which is second-most in the NFL behind only the Baltimore Ravens.

And there’s good reason for that. The Vikings rank fourth in the league for rushing offense in 2019, averaging 135.9 yards per game on the ground.

Cook is playing at an MVP-level this season. He’s rushed 250 times for 1,135 yards and 13 touchdowns. Cook is also second on the team in receiving with 519 yards.

Mattison is one of the league’s best backups. This season, he’s rushed for 462 yards and a touchdown, averaging an impressive 4.6 yards per carry, which is just ahead of Cook.

Without Cook and Mattison, the Vikings’ leading rusher is Mike Boone, who only has 21 carries for 97 yards and two touchdowns this season. Former Detroit Lion Ameer Abdullah could also get more carries. He only has 13 attempts for 66 yards.

Even if the Vikings are without their top two running backs, this won’t be an easy game for the Packers. Kirk Cousins has thrown 25 touchdowns with only five interceptions, while Stefon Diggs already has over 1,000 yards and five touchdowns this season.

But losing Cook and Mattison would certainly make life tougher for the Vikings in such an important game.