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Dalvin Cook clears COVID protocols, available for Week 17 game vs. Packers

We break down Wednesday’s news that Cook has cleared COVID protocols. What it means for Week 17 and beyond.

Minnesota Vikings v Chicago Bears
Dalvin Cook of the Minnesota Vikings runs against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on December 20, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. The Vikings defeated the Bears 17-9.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Minnesota Vikings will get their top running back in a pivotal Week 17 contest against the Green Bay Packers as Dalvin Cook returns from the reserve/COVID-19 list. Cook, who is unvaccinated, has cleared the league’s updated protocols with shorter quarantine times and will be on the field Sunday.

Fantasy football implications

Cook will take command of the backfield once again, where he’s been a fantasy star for years. Alexander Mattison, who has filled in admirably when Cook is sidelined, slides back into his complementary role. Cook’s return will have an impact on Kirk Cousins as well, who might see less opportunities to throw the ball in redzone situations. There could be an overall reduction in passing plays with Cook back, which would likely impact K.J. Osborn before hitting Justin Jefferson. The Packers have been gashed against the run recently, so Cook is in line for a big day in Week 17.