Sunday was not a fun day for the Minnesota Vikings.

The NFC North franchise lost 14-7 against the Detroit Lions, dropping their record to 2-2 and sitting one game back on the race for the Division lead. But the loss wasn’t the worst thing that happened to them. Their biggest problem was the injury of their rookie running back, Dalvin Cook.

The first-year rusher went down during the third quarter with after a non-contact play. It looked like a serious injury as soon as Cook went down, and this Monday the team’s biggest fears became reality. Cook suffered a torn ACL, so he will miss the remainder of the 2017 season.

Here is the video of the play:

 Cook will finish the season with decent numbers, although in a small sample size. The former Florida State standout rushed for 354 yards on 74 carries (4.8 APC) and added two touchdowns. He had 66 yards and a score on 13 carries before exiting Sunday’s contest against Detroit.
Cook’s absence will be a huge blow for Minnesota. The Vikings also lost Sam Bradford due to a knee problem, and it is uncertain when the quarterback will be back. But Cook’s problem might be even harder to overcome. Especially since the two potential replacements – Jerick McKinnon and Latavius Murray – are far from being reliable. Murray is likely to handle a bigger role in Cook’s absence, although the Vikings could easily try to trade for another player if the chance arises.
The Vikings were tipped by some experts as a potential contender in the first two games of the season. Bradford was looking good, Cook proved to be a difference maker on the ground, and Stefon Diggs was showing signs of having a breakout season. But with two of the team’s top three offensive players out, suddenly things look dark in Minnesota. Especially since Cook is a first-year player who was turning heads with his play.
Now, coach Mike Zimmer will have to find a way to turn things around. And without their star running back for the remainder of the campaign. Quite a big blow for a franchise that only days ago appeared to be on the verge of contention.

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