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Dalvin Cook not expected to play in Week 16

Vikings running back Dalvin Cook is dealing with a shoulder injury, and the team might rest him for the playoffs. We break down the fantasy football implications in Week 16.

Running back Dalvin Cook of the Minnesota Vikings runs the ball in the first half of the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Dignity Health Sports Park on December 15, 2019 in Carson, California. Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

The Minnesota Vikings are expected to earn a playoff berth, and still have a chance to win the NFC North, but they are likely going to play things conservatively. The team is expected to sit Dalvin Cook this week, and could potentially do so in Week 17 as well, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Cook injured his shoulder last week against the Los Angeles Chargers, and was replaced by a combination of Mike Boone and Ameer Abdullah. Boone finished the game with 13 carries for 56 yards and two touchdowns, while Abdullah had five carries for 25 yards. Cook left after nine carries for 27 yards.

Fantasy football analysis: Vikings running backs

If Cook does not play on Monday, the big question is whether or not Alexander Mattison gets cleared this week. He is normally Cook’s backup, but he missed last week’s game with an ankle injury. If he returns in Week 16, he would likely get the start over Boone.

The other question is whether or not the Vikings rule Cook out, or leave him questionable and have fantasy players guessing heading into Monday. We’ll keep an eye on what the weekend brings.