Dalvin Wants All the Touches

Dalvin Cook Uses Chalkboard Treatment for Fine
Jun 8, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) and running back Dalvin Cook (4) react during mandatory mini camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Workhorse running backs are rare nowadays. The times when every team had one running back who got 30 carries per game are over. Dalvin Cook, however, feels that he is one of those ‘workhorses’ and should get a ton of touches. The Vikings running back talked with Hobie Artigue from Fox 9 Sports about his role in 2022.

“Wherever they want me to fit in. We got to run the football. That’s a must. So, we’ve got to do a good job at that. However many touches I get, I’m going to take advantage of it. I’m just ready to win games. Wherever I fit in at, if it’s an opportunity to help us win a game, ‘Put me in there, coach.’ That’s my mindset.”

Dalvin Cook, wants to do whatever it takes to help his team win games

Cook came into the league in 2017 when general manager Rick Spielman selected the dynamic Florida State runner with his first draft pick in the second round. Since then, Cook has been one of the players with the most carries per game. His 18.18 carries per game only slightly trail Ezekiel Elliott’s, who has 18.19 carries per game. He doesn’t only run the football but also has over three catches per game.

Jun 7, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Running back is a tough position, as they are used a lot and get hit on every play. They fall off a cliff at the very latest in the late 20s. Cook, however, isn’t concerned about that and wants all the touches.

“I could get the ball 30 times, and you could give it to me 30 more times the next game. And then I could go out there and catch five or ten passes. … Being a bell-cow running back is what I pride myself on being. One of those old school, Warrick Dunn, you know, just being one of those guys.”

– Dalvin Cook

It’s great that the running back wants to do whatever the team needs. However, it might not be smart to give him the ball as often as the Vikings handed it off to Adrian Peterson in his 2012 MVP campaign.

Dalvin´s Injury Concerns

The Obvious Tweak Vikings Must Make for 2022 Offense
Sep 27, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) hands the ball off to Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Cook has been hurt every season in his career and only managed to play in 57 games in his five-year career. In 2017, he sustained the worst injury in his career when he tore his ACL in the fourth game of the season. Multiple hamstring injuries forced him to miss five games in the following season, 2018. In 2019, his shoulder caused problems, and he didn’t play in two games. Against the Seahawks in Week 5 against the Seahawks, Cook exited the game because of a shoulder injury. The game was lost, the injury played a significant role, and the running back missed an additional game. An ankle injury forced him to miss two games in 2021, and he played with a torn labrum after dislocating his shoulder.

All of those injuries add up, and that’s why offensive coordinators have to choose carefully when they want to use one of their most dynamic players and when it’s time to rely on his backups.

Alexander Mattison was Cook’s primary backup in the last three seasons. The dangerous kick returner, Kene Nwangwu, enters his second season and might get more work on offense. Ty Chandler was a draft selection out of North Carolina in the sixth round. All of them, and even full back C.J. Ham, have to relieve Cook from his duties at times. The RB2 spot will be an interesting battle to watch in the upcoming training camp.

Kevin O’Connell is expected to implement a more pass-heavy offensive system, which could help keep Cook fresh and healthy. The Vikings could make a run in the playoffs in 2022, but only with their star running back healthy.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. He chose the Vikings as his favorite team, despite Christian Ponder being the quarterback at the time. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt