Shark Bites

Vikings RB Dalvin Cook (groin) has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Falcons. He reportedly has a shot to be back after Minnesota’s Week 7 bye. RB Alexander Mattison out-carried RB Mike Boone 17 to 2 after Cook exited last week’s game and should play a workhorse role on Sunday.

The Athletic's Chad Graff hears that Vikings RB Dalvin Cook (groin) is not expected to play against the Falcons this weekend. Minnesota has a Week 7 bye and "then will re-evaluate if Cook is ready to return after that." That makes it sound like Cook isn't a lock to play Week 8. You should definitely plan on being without him this weekend. RB Alexander Mattison should operate as the Vikings' feature back in a juicy matchup vs. Atlanta.

Vikings HC Mike Zimmer said the MRI on RB Dalvin Cook's groin "went pretty well." Zimmer added that they'll "see how he does this week" before deciding on his status for Sunday's game against the Falcons. It's worth noting that Minnesota has a Week 7 bye, so they could get Cook 2 full weeks of rest if they hold him out this week. Backup RB Alexander Mattison should be rostered in all fantasy leagues.

10:10pm EDT 10/11/20

Vikings RB Dalvin Cook left Sunday night's game at Seattle early in the 3rd quarter with an apparent groin injury. Cook sustained the injury on a reception, went straight to the sideline and then moved quickly on to the locker room. We'll await updates on his status. Alexander Mattison takes over the backfield in Cook's place.

Update: Cook is officially questionable to return.

Further update: Cook returned midway through the 3rd quarter.

Vikings CB Holton Hill (foot) is questionable for Sunday night's game against the Seahawks. The late kickoff makes him not worth waiting for in most IDP leagues. CB Mike Hughes is off the final injury report after missing the past 2 games with a neck injury.

Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that Vikings DE Danielle Hunter has received 2 recommendations that he sit out the rest of the season because of the herniated disc in his neck. The 1st opinion came after Hunter visited the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York last week. The 2nd comes from his personal trainer. We'll see what the player and team decide, but don't expect to have Hunter available for your IDP lineup anytime soon.

Vikings S Harrison Smith got ejected late in the 2nd quarter of Sunday's win over the Texans for a "flagrant" helmet-to-helmet hit on Houston TE Jordan Akins. That hit left Akins concussed. We'll see if it means any further discipline for Smith.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that Vikings DE Danielle Hunter isn't expected to be ready to play when he's eligible to return from IR next week. Hunter's dealing with a herniated disc in his neck and is reportedly "regaining strength and getting closer to returning." Pelissero adds that optimism is "still high that he's back this season." That's good, but it also falls short of telling us that Hunter will definitely be back this season. We'll keep an eye out for updates on his status. You might soon have a roster decision to make on Hunter if you can't keep him stashed in an IR slot.

The Vikings have ruled CB Mike Hughes out for Sunday's game against the Titans with a neck injury. That further dings a CB corps that hasn't played well so far. Minnesota will also miss rookie CB Cameron Dantzler, who played a top 3 corner role in Week 1.

The Vikings are expected to sign free-agent LB Todd Davis on Wednesday, according to Mike Klis of 9 News in Denver. Davis got cut by the Broncos as they got down to their 53-man regular season roster. We don't expect Davis to threated the playing time of LB Eric Wilson, who's in for full-time duty with Anthony Barr (pectoral tear) out for the year. We'll see about Davis' role.

Vikings OLB Anthony Barr will miss the rest of the season after tearing a pectoral muscle in Sunday's loss to the Colts. That should mean full playing time for weak-side starter Eric Wilson going forward. Wilson wound up playing 92% of the snaps vs. Indy, totaling 7 tackles and grabbing an INT. He saw 7 other games of 70% playing time or more over the previous 2 seasons when other LBs went down. Wilson finished all 3 such games last season with 8+ tackles.

The Vikings and RB Dalvin Cook have agreed to a 5-year, $63 million extension, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports. The deal comes in short of the one signed by Saints RB Alvin Kamara -- but Cook is still now the 6th highest-paid RB in average annual salary. He should remain the focal point of Minnesota's offense in 2020.

The Vikings have placed DE Danielle Hunter on IR. By this year's altered rules, of course, that just means he'll miss at least 3 games. We'll see beyond that. The team has only ever called Hunter's injury a "tweak," but we're at almost a month that it has kept him off the field. ESPN's Courtney Cronin reports that it's "related to a neck injury he sustained," according to an anonymous source. If you drafted Hunter in an IDP league, you'll need to find a replacement for at least the 1st few games.

NFL Network reports that Vikings DE Danielle Hunter's "status for Sunday is very much in doubt." Hunter hasn't practiced since Aug. 14 and remained off the field Wednesday, according to ESPN's Courtney Cronin. The team has been calling Hunter's issue minor all along and haven't revealed details, but this continued absence in the week leading up to the opener should obviously ramp up the worry. If he can't go, Minnesota would likely start Ifeadi Odenigbo at DE opposite Yannick Ngakoue.

The Broncos on Friday released ILB Todd Davis. It's a surprising move, especially because he's reportedly recovered from the calf injury that cost Davis most of training camp. The move leaves Alexander (A.J.) Johnson as a clear starter and Josey Jewell as the presumed other starter. Johnson has been a strong value in our IDP rankings all offseason. Jewell can be a late option in deep leagues, but he played his way out of a starting job last year.

Vikings DE Danielle Hunter hasn't practiced since Aug. 14, the team's official opening to camp. That's 10 straight missed practices for Hunter. According to multiple reports, HC Mike Zimmer has revealed only that Hunter is dealing with "a little tweak." Zimmer told ESPN's Courtney Cronin earlier this week that Hunter is "getting a little better every day" and that he'll return when head trainer Eric Sugarman deems the DE ready. The situation obviously adds some risk to the guy currently leading our DL rankings. But the lack of info makes it tough to tell just how much we need to worry. For now, we'd wait a little longer to draft Hunter than normal, though we're not pushing any other D-linemen ahead of him. If you'd rather pass on the uncertainty in your draft, of course, that's a reasonable path. We'll keep an eye out for Hunter's return.

Vikings WR Justin Jefferson has been working mostly with the 2nd-team offense in camp so far, according to The Athletic's Arif Hasan. "He hasn’t played poorly, but against second-level competition, he should stand out more if he’s to prove to have an immediate rookie impact," Hasan adds. We're not panicking and still expect Jefferson to finish 2nd among Vikings WRs in fantasy points this year. But he might not be a guy we can stick in lineups early on this season. We'll continue to keep an eye on Jefferson's progress.

Broncos LB Todd Davis left Thursday's practice with a left calf injury. Davis hurt it bad enough to need help off the field, but HC Vic Fangio had no further info on the injury after the workout. Davis missed nearly all of last year's training camp with a partial calf tear but made it back for Week 3 and then played the rest of the games. We'll see about the severity of this injury.

Update: NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that Davis is expected to miss 2-3 weeks. That still gives him a shot at being ready for the regular-season opener.

The Athletic's Arif Hasan notes that Vikings WR Adam Thielen is showing no ill-effects from last year's hamstring injury. "He’s been able to separate instantly at the release and generates even more throughout the route," Hasan writes. "As good as some of the corners in camp have been, they’ve had a difficult time keeping up with him — a good sign that his hamstring injury hasn’t kept him from performing at a top-notch level." Considering Thielen returned from that hammy injury for a strong 2 playoff outings last year, it was never really a concern heading into 2020. He remains a strong value in the 4th round of fantasy drafts.

Vikings TE Irv Smith told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he wants to make a "big jump" in his 2nd season. And HC Mike Zimmer just might be ready for it. “Irv has done a really nice job,” Zimmer said. “He has a skill set that we need to be able to utilize with the offense." Minnesota trailed only Philadelphia last season in the rate of 2-TE formations. The Vikings certainly look like a strong candidate again, after trading away Stefon Diggs and replacing him with rookie Justin Jefferson. That would mean Smith doesn't even need to steal playing time from veteran Kyle Rudolph to present target upside. At just TE23 in August ADP, Smith is a no-risk fantasy proposition who could crack the top 15 by season's end.


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