The Vikings could have one of their key offensive players back for Thursday’s game against the Steelers. But they definitely will not have another.
Running back Dalvin Cook is questionable for the matchup after he was listed as limited on the last two days of Minnesota’s injury report. Wednesday’s report was an estimate as the Vikings did not hold a full practice. But the fact that Cook was limited for consecutive days is a positive sign for his potential availability.
Cook missed last week’s loss to the Lions after suffering a shoulder injury against the 49ers in Week 12. He’s accounted for 975 yards from scrimmage — 773 rushing, 202 receiving — with four touchdowns. Alexander Mattison would get another start if Cook can’t play. He rushed for 90 yards and had three catches for 34 yards in place of Cook last week.
But receiver Adam Thielen is one of two players ruled out. He suffered an ankle injury early in the loss to Detroit and was unable to return to the contest. Thielen has 64 catches for 686 yards with 10 touchdowns in 2021.
Offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw is also out with an ankle injury.
But neither linebacker Anthony Barr (knee/hamstring) nor linebacker Eric Kendricks (biceps) have an injury status and are therefore expected to play. Cornerback Bashaud Breeland (groin), cornerback Mackensie Alexander (ribs), and linebacker Ryan Connelly (quad) are also expected to play.