Minnesota Vikings’ Dalvin Cook to miss season finale against Detroit Lions after father’s death
The Detroit Lions won’t see Dalvin Cook for this weekend’s season finale.
The returning Minnesota Vikings star left the team on Tuesday after his father James unexpectedly passed away in Florida. He was 46 years old.
Cook was in the midst of the best season of his young career, rushing for 1,557 yards and 16 touchdowns in 14 games. He was only 82 meters from 2,000.
He was recently named to the Pro Bowl for the second consecutive year and will likely still be named a first-team all-pro at the end of the season.
In Detroit’s previous matchup against Minnesota this season, Cook dominated, rushing 22 runs to a career high of 206 yards and scoring two goals in a 34:20 win.
Without Cook, the Vikings will likely turn to the backfield tandem of Alexander Mattison and former Lion Ameer Abdullah. Mattison has carried the ball 75 times for 339 yards (4.5 yards per carry) and one touchdown this season.
The Vikings reach the final against the Lions, who are sixth on the offensive and 13th in the ranking. Even without Cook, the Lions have to deal with a strong pass attack, which revolves around the broad receivers Adam Thielen and rookie Justin Jefferson. The pair have teamed up for more than 2,000 yards and 21 touchdowns.
Daniel takes the # 1 reps
Unsurprisingly, Matthew Stafford won’t be attending training on Wednesday, according to interim coach Darrell Bevell. The starting quarterback deals with thumb, rib and ankle injuries. The latter knocked him out of the game last Sunday against Tampa Bay in the first quarter.
While Stafford remains hopeful to play, Bevell said Chase Daniel would do the majority of the first-team reps for the start of the training week and face Minnesota ahead of David Blough if Stafford can’t get medical clearance.
Daniel completed 13 of 18 passes for 86 yards in lieu of Stafford on Sunday without leading the offensive on a single gate trip before making way for Blough in the fourth quarter.
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Blough, who had started the team’s last five games as an unoccupied rookie a year ago, wasn’t much better on his brief Sunday opportunity. He completed 6 of 10 passes for 60 yards and one interception.
In addition to Stafford, the Lions are expected to forego wide receiver Kenny Golladay (hip), offensive lineman Joe Dahl (back) and linebacker Jamie Collins (neck) during Wednesday’s practice.
The Frank Ragnow Center, which is working its way back from a broken cartilage in the neck, has resumed the conversation and will only participate to a limited extent on Wednesday. He has a realistic shot against the Vikings after missing the last two games.
“I really ask him (Ragnow) not to overstretch it during the week or anything,” Bevell said. “So communication will be minimal. I mean, he talks and stuff, but I don’t want him to make any calls or signals that way just so we can keep it healing as best we can until Sunday.”
Defensive coach still out
Defensive coordinator Cory Undlin and Bevell are out of COVID-19 quarantine and will be back in training on Wednesday, while defensive trainer Bo Davis remains on record, indicating that he was the Lions assistant who positive for the virus last week has been tested.
Bevell, Undlin and Davis, along with defensive coach Steve Gregory and linebacker coach Ty McKenzie, missed Saturday’s game after one coach tested positive and the other four were considered close contacts.
Clarity when cutting kearse
After the Lions slashed veteran Jayron Kearse’s security earlier this week, Bevell painted the decision when the team wanted to take a closer look at some of the younger players on the roster.
However, according to a report in the Detroit Free Press, the goodbye roads had more to do with Kearse breaking team rules last week. When asked about the report, Bevell declined direct confirmation.
“I don’t know if I even want to comment on that,” said Bevell. “But I’m just going to say that everything is important.”