5:08 p.m. update: Adam Schefter is reporting Cook will play and will wear a harness.
Vikings RB Dalvin Cook will play tonight vs. the Steelers with a shoulder harness, just as he did vs. the Saints in a January 2020 wild-card game, when he had 31 touches for 130 yards and two touchdowns. With the harness, expectations are that Cook maintains his regular workload.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 9, 2021
Game day update: Cook has passed tests on his shoulder and will play barring a pre-game setback, per Jeremy Fowler. It’s still unclear if this turns into a decoy move or if he plays a full game, so wait for more word throughout the day leading up to kickoff.
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook dislocated his shoulder in Week 12 and the expectation was he would miss multiple weeks. He sat out last week and Alexander Mattison started in his place.
This week, the Vikings play the Steelers on Thursday Night Football. Cook was a DNP on Monday to start the short week, but then was upgraded to limited on Tuesday and Wednesday. The team did not practice on Monday or Wednesday, so those reports were estimates. He was listed as questionable on the team’s final injury report.
On Thursday morning, NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero reported that Cook is trending toward actually playing against the Steelers, just 11 days after the shoulder dislocation. He got first-team reps in practice and Pelissero reported that if he gets final medical clearance, Cook would be “expected to play with a harness or some form of added protection.”
Fantasy football impact: Dalvin Cook (shoulder)
This is an unexpected development. The upside to all this for fantasy football roster decisions is it’s the Thursday game so we’ll know before everybody else plays. The downside is that even if Cook is active, we won’t know how effective he’ll be. If he’s active, the conservative decision is to play him because he’s Dalvin Cook. But this is a hugely risky play.
If you have Alexander Mattison, it’s a little bit simpler. If Cook is inactive, you play Mattison. If Cook is active, you sit Mattison.