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EAGAN, Minn. — Minnesota Vikings running back Cheap Dalvin Cook Jersey will miss Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions because of the death of his father, according to a league source.

Cook returned to his home in Miami on Tuesday to be with his siblings and will miss the Vikings’ daily COVID-19 tests, making him unavailable for the season finale, according to the source.

Cook’s father, James, was 46 years old. The Vikings offered their condolences to Cook in a tweet Wednesday but have not announced the two-time Pro Bowler’s status for Sunday.

The entire Vikings organization is thinking of Dalvin and his family following the passing of Dalvin’s father, James Cook.

— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) December 30, 2020
James Cook, Dalvin’s younger brother who is the second-leading rusher for Georgia, also returned home to Miami and will not play in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Friday.

Quarterback Cheap Kirk Cousins Jersey and rookie wide receiver Cheap Justin Jefferson Jersey also expressed condolences Wednesday to Cook, who was selected as the 2020 recipient of the Cheap Korey Stringer Jersey Good Guy Award. The Minnesota chapter of the Pro Football Writers Association presents this honor each year to a Vikings player to recognize media cooperation and professionalism.

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Cook leads the NFL in total yards from scrimmage (1,918) and scrimmage yards per game (137) and has scored 17 touchdowns this season. He is second in the league in rushing yards with 1,557, behind Tennessee Titans star Derrick Henry (1,777).

Cook joined Cheap Adrian Peterson Jersey and Cheap Robert Smith Jersey as the only players in Vikings history to rush for 1,500 yards in a season.

During his weekly Wednesday news conference, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer declined to say whether he has made a decision to rest starters in Week 17. Minnesota was eliminated from postseason contention with a Christmas Day loss to the New Orleans Saints.

Even if there were postseason implications, Cook would not have enough time to clear COVID-19 protocols in order to be allowed to play. The NFL has a six-day testing window for newly arriving players, a waiting period that applies to any interruption to the daily testing process.

Cook’s absence will clinch a second consecutive league rushing title for Henry. The next-closest players after Cook on the league leaderboard are more than 700 yards behind Henry entering the final week. Henry will be the first repeat winner since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006 and 2007.

Cook also will finish second in team history on the single-season list for yards from scrimmage, behind Peterson’s 2,314 total yards in 2012, when he won the league MVP award. Peterson, with 18 scores in 2009, is the only Vikings player who has tallied more rushing touchdowns in one season.

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The Vikings found Cheap Tyler Conklin Jersey in space, and the third-year tight end was able to deliver two of Minnesota’s five longest receptions on Sunday against the Bears.

The plays from Conklin started with a 30-yard reception in the third quarter on which he gained 29 yards after the catch. He showed elusiveness through Bears tackles attempts for an extra 12 yards above expectation on the play, which Next Gen Stats ranked as the eighth-most in its listing of Week 15’s “incredible YAC.”

Conklin then scored his first career touchdown on a play with a similar design as the 30-yard reception, again capitalizing on getting the ball in space and gaining 20 yards after contact.

“It definitely would have been a lot better if we had come away with a win yesterday,” Conklin said Monday. “I mean, it’s my third year, and I felt like it was kind of starting to haunt me a little bit. I hadn’t gotten into the end zone yet, and to finally make that happen yesterday kind of felt great. I felt like a weight was off my shoulders.”

Conklin’s first score occurred in his 45th career game, a contest in which he played 44 offensive snaps as the Vikings were without 10-year pro Cheap Kyle Rudolph Jersey for a second consecutive game.

The 2018 fifth-round pick heaped credit toward Rudolph for the way he has passed along knowledge to the position group. He said he wants to continue to improve as an “all-around tight end.”

“I think the big thing for me is being able to get consistent reps,” Conklin said. “When you’re out there and you’re playing 40, 50 snaps and able to get into a rhythm of how a game is being played, how a defense is being played, it’s completely different than playing 10 or 15 snaps where you’re kind of in and out, maybe two or three plays a quarter, something like that. It’s a lot easier to grow and become comfortable and build confidence when you’re in a flow of a game and get a chance to go and play those higher snap counts.”

Dalvin Cook enters Week 16 with a career-best 1,484 yards, but he’s 195 shy of NFL rushing yardage leader Derrick Henry.

In attempting to defend his rushing crown, “King Henry” rumbled for another 147 yards Sunday, helping the Titans defeat the Lions.

Cook churned out an impressive 132 against the Bears as Minnesota remained committed to the run in trying to come back against Chicago, but he still fell further behind Henry.

The Florida natives have become friends and frequently talk. There’s a mutual admiration between the former second-round picks.

Cook, who was tabbed 41st overall by Minnesota in 2017, recently credited the 45th overall pick of 2016 for the way he “just keeps elevating” his game.

“I’ve just got to try to get somebody to stop him,” Cook said last week when asked about his own shot at becoming the first Viking to lead the NFL in rushing yards since Cheap Adrian Peterson Jersey did so with 1,485 in 2015.

Henry’s final two games are at the Packers and Texans in Weeks 16 and 17, respectively, so that doesn’t bode the greatest for Cook getting shutdown help.

Cook averaged 106.5 yards per game against the Packers and totaled 130 at Houston back in Week 4.

Minnesota’s final two games of the 2020 regular season are at New Orleans on Friday and at Detroit on Jan. 3, 2021.

The Saints defense ranks fourth in the NFL with a stingy 95.6 rushing yards allowed per game and second with a downright Scrooge-y 3.79 rush yards allowed per attempt.

The Lions are quite the opposite, allowing 137.3 rushing yards per game (29th in the NFL) and 4.47 rushing yards per play (19th).

Frame-By-Frame: Dalvin Cook’s Second Touchdown In Houston
View photos of RB Cheap Dalvin Cook Jersey second touchdown during the Vikings-Texans game on Sunday at NRG Stadium.

Tennessee’s position atop the AFC South via tiebreaker over Indianapolis (10-4) makes it unlikely the Titans will rest Henry in Week 17, so all of those factors might be too much for Cook, who has played one fewer game, to overtake him.

There are some impressive rankings in the Vikings record book that Cook can still chase.

Cook’s 1,484 yards entering Week 16 are the fifth-most in a Vikings season.

Only Adrian Peterson (three seasons) and Cheap Robert Smith Jersey (once) have had bigger years on the ground for Minnesota.

Peterson ranks first (2,097 in 2012), second (1,760 in 2008) and fourth (1,485 in 2015). Smith ranks third (1,521 in 2000).

Peterson won the rushing title in each of those seasons and set a Vikings record with 10 100-yard games in 2008 that he matched again in 2012. Smith had eight such performances in 2000.

Cook recorded his eighth of the season, along with his 15th rushing touchdown, which trails only Peterson’s 18 in 2009 for the most in a Vikings season.

Vikings Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak has seen plenty during his epic NFL career, including the rushing race between Denver’s Terrell Davis and Atlanta’s Jamal Anderson in 1998. Kubiak was the Broncos offensive coordinator when Davis rushed for 2,008 yards and Anderson finished second with 1,846 yards for Atlanta.

Davis totaled 1,801 rushing yards by Week 16 that season and carried a lead of 205 yards over Anderson heading into the final two games.

Here’s a recap of the two long catches by Conklin.

Q3, 4:54 remaining — First-and-10 at the Chicago 49

The Vikings have just gotten a gain of 26 on a pass from Cheap Kirk Cousins Jersey to Cheap Justin Jefferson Jersey.

Minnesota uses 12 personnel with Dalvin Cook at running back and tight ends Conklin and Irv Smith, Jr. The Vikings also have receivers Cheap Adam Thielen Jersey and Jefferson in the game.

Cousins lines up under center, and Minnesota uses play-action by faking a run to the left, drawing Bears safety Eddie Jackson to the middle of the field. Conklin blocks linebacker Barkevious Mingo, then releases. Mingo chases Cousins, who is bootlegging, but doesn’t have enough time to affect the throw to Conklin.

1
Next Gen Stats calculated a completion probability of 89 percent on the pass, with Conklin having 7.5 yards of separation from the nearest defender at the time of the pass and 8.14 yards of space when he secured the football.

Jackson eventually chases down Conklin, but not before the gain of 30.

Q4, 8:14 remaining — First-and-10 at the Chicago 20

The Vikings have just converted a third-and-5 with a 9-yard pass to Jefferson when they incorporate a similar concept with the same personnel grouping that again pays big dividends.

This time, however, the Vikings have grouped Thielen and Jefferson together on the left side of the formation and have Conklin and Smith on the right side.

2
Cousins again sells a fake for a run by Cook before bootlegging. Conklin is tasked with blocking linebacker Khalil Mack before releasing. Smith runs an outward-breaking route to clear a huge alley for Conklin, who decisively turns up the field, accelerates and powers his way through contact for the score.

Next Gen Stats calculated the completion probability of this throw at 91.8 percent. Conklin again had ample room, with 8.2 yards of separation at the time of the pass and 7.8 yards at the time of the catch.

“I had no idea what was going on behind me,” Conklin said. “Like you said, it was a similar design to my first catch of the day, and once I caught it and realized I was at the 10-yard line and saw the end zone, I just knew I had to get in there.”

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EAGAN, Minn. – The Panthers have experienced ups and downs similar to the Vikings so far this season.

Carolina enters Sunday’s game 4-7, but the less-than-impressive record doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story. Of the Panthers seven losses, four have been by one score or less – including three losses by four or fewer points.

The NFC South team is coming off a dominant 20-0 defeat of the Lions and may have All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey back in the lineup. McCaffrey, who in 2019 led the NFL with 2,392 yards from scrimmage, has only played in Weeks 1, 2 and 9 this season.

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer spoke to Twin Cities media members Wednesday and emphasized the talented team he’s preparing to face at U.S. Bank Stadium this weekend.

“We’re getting ready to play a good Carolina team – a very, very good team. I’ve been very impressed with them,” Zimmer said. “Very young defensively, fly around to the ball, do a great job in situations.”

Zimmer mentioned a trio of “really good receivers that have great speed” in DJ Moore, Robby Anderson and Curtis Samuel. He also emphasized that former Vikings quarterback Cheap Teddy Bridgewater Jersey is playing well in his first season as a starting quarterback since suffering a devastating knee injury in August 2016.

“McCaffrey and [Mike] Davis are both really good backs. We’re going to have to play really, really well to win,” he added.

Here are four other topics Zimmer covered during his session with media:

1. Respect for Davis

With McCaffrey missing substantial time this season, Davis has taken advantage of his opportunity with 111 carries for 449 yards and three rushing scores. He also has 49 catches for 305 yards and two touchdowns through the air.

Davis has spent time with four different teams – San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago and Carolina – since entering the league in 2015 as a fourth-round draft pick. He’s currently on-pace for his best NFL season.

Journeyman or not, Zimmer won’t be counting Davis out.

“He does everything,” Zimmer said. “He catches the ball well out of the backfield, is good on the screens, he runs very, very hard, he’s elusive in the open field. I’ve been very impressed. He carries his pads forward.”

Through the Years: Vikings vs. Panthers
Look back at photos over the course of time featuring games between the Vikings and the Panthers.

2. Facing a friend

In reference to Bridgewater, Zimmer was asked if it ever “feels normal” to game-plan against a player he’s been close to.

He shared that he’s been in touch with Bridgewater ever since he departed Minnesota as a free agent in 2018.

“Teddy and I have a great relationship. We’ve talked ever since he’s left,” Zimmer said. “When the schedule came out, I don’t know if he texted me or I texted him, but I told him I was rooting for him in 15 games, just not when we played them, and he basically said the same thing. I’m proud of what he’s done. He’s a great kid, great family.

“It is a little different when you’re as close to somebody, but I think Deion [Sanders] went and played with [Washington] after I coached him and things like that,” Zimmer continued. “You’re still trying to beat the heck out of him as best as you can.”

3. An update on Thielen’s status

The Vikings on Monday placed receiver Cheap Adam Thielen Jersey on the COVID-19/Reserve list.

Asked about Thielen’s status and whether he could be activated for Sunday’s game, Zimmer said he’s unsure.

“I don’t know, honestly. Obviously he’s in the COVID protocol, and we’ll just see,” Zimmer said. “When you get in these protocols, it’s always about, ‘What’s the next test, and the next test?’ So we’ll just have to see as the week goes on.”

If Thielen is unable to play against Carolina, that could create more targets for rookie Cheap Justin Jefferson Jersey, but Zimmer said there won’t be extra “responsibilities,” per se, for the rookie receiver.

“I don’t think so. There’s a lot on his plate now, the things that he’s doing and trying to do, and obviously we still don’t know about Adam,” Zimmer said. “It’s kind of hard to say, ‘Well, if Adam doesn’t play, you’re going to do all these different things, and if he does play, then you’re going to do this.’ ”

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4. Rolling with the punches

Minnesota was without wide receivers coach Andrew Janocko for last week’s game against the Cowboys. The previous week, the team traveled to Chicago without assistant offensive line coach Phil Rauscher.

Zimmer was asked about the challenges of adapting when abrupt (temporary) changes to the coaching staff occur.

“Yeah, it’s happened a couple of times, obviously. It adds to other guys’ duties that they have to do, responsibilities,” Zimmer said. “Fortunately, the ones that have missed have not been sick, so they’re able to do a lot of things virtually still.

“If these guys got really ill and sick and couldn’t do things, then obviously it would make it more difficult, but we have a plan in place for if I get [the virus] or whoever gets it,” he added.