Running back Dalvin Cook will be out for the fourth time in five weeks as the Minnesota Vikings travel to face the New York Jets on Sunday.
Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer has said Cook is "close" but the team wants to make sure he is over the lingering hamstring injury before he's activated for the game. Cook was a full participant in practice on Wednesday but was held out Thursday and left practice on Friday after warming up.
Cook, who is coming off of knee surgery that limited his rookie season to four games last year, has played in three games. He has 36 carries for 98 yards. Cook missed the Week 3 game with a hamstring injury but returned a week later with limited snaps. But he'll be inactive for the third straight week as his practice participation was been in flux.
Without Cook, Latavius Murray ran for a career-high 155 yards in last week's win against Arizona. Murray should start and see the bulk of the carries again Sunday against New York. The Jets have allowed 108.7 rushing yards per game, 17th in the NFL.
"He's guy that needs carries," Zimmer said on Friday of Murray. "I've said it a million times; I like Latavius and the way he approaches the game. Typically, he's not a one-carry-every-quarter guy. He's a guy that needs to get the football some."
Zimmer later added: "The longer it goes, usually the more effective he is."
The Vikings had struggled to get much going on the ground this season before rushing for a season-high 195 yards as a team against the Cardinals.