It only took one last Sunday by Dalwyn Cooke to learn that the Vikings star was not entirely healthy, to Chuck Foreman by Dalwyn Cooke last Sunday.
Cook returned against Cleveland after missing a game with a right ankle sprain. He did it nine times for 34 yards in a 14-7 loss.
“I could tell right away that Dalvin was not the guy we usually see,” said Foreman, a Vikings star running back from 1973-79. “I could tell he wasn’t 100 percent because it’s usually two steps and he’s gone.”
With that in mind, Foreman believes it would be prudent for Cook to sit out of a Browns game. Foreman said he saw Cook at the team hotel last Saturday and Cook indicated he was going to play, but Foreman said he did not comment on the matter.
“I give him credit for going out there and trying, but I probably would have kicked him out another game because you don’t want a Dalvin Cook who is 60 percent,” Foreman said. “You want Dalvin Cook to be 100 percent. But I’m glad he didn’t overdo it (with him against Brown). Once he noticed he wasn’t doing what he normally does So they put someone else there.
After Cook went limp, he was in and out of the lineup in the second half. But he was in the game for Minnesota’s final campaign.
“I don’t think it was an issue,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said of Cook’s injury after the team. “He got out of the game once a little grumpy. We took him out for a while, then he said he was good, and he went back in.
On Monday, Zimmer didn’t reveal much about Cook’s ankle prolapse, saying only, “He said he felt well today.” After a day off, the Vikings returned to practice on Wednesday to prepare for Sunday’s game against Detroit at US Bank Stadium.
Cook, who has not been available for comment since last week, hurt his ankle in a 34-33 loss to Arizona on September 19, but remained in the game. He won 30-17 on September 26 against Seattle, and said last week that he “can’t be there if I’m not explosive or able to help my team win a football game.”
With Cook against the Seahawks, backup Alexander Mattison started and elevated his career with a run of 112 yards. But Mattison had just 10 carries for 20 yards against the Browns.
Foreman said he did not know enough about the injury that Cook could have re-injured it against Brown if there was a risk. But what Cook said about his ankle was the key to his being explosive.
“When you cut like him, your game is affected differently than someone who’s a straight-runner,” Foreman said. “He’s got great escape potential. He’s fast, he’s quick, and he has all those things going for him. But if there’s anything that can limit him, he’s not going to be the same as before. ”
In his five seasons, Cook has missed 22 of the 68 regular season games. In the 46 games he played, he averaged 84.5 yards and 29.2 yards.
“In my opinion, he’s the best in the game,” Foreman said of Cook’s recovery.