Vikings fans knew that the future was bright for young Dalvin Cook a year ago as the running back took his rookie campaign by storm and was battling for the best stats in the league through the first three weeks of the season. Then week four happened and Dalvin tore his ACL, ending his rookie campaign 3.5 games in.
It was a long road to recovery but Cook fought his way back to start the 2018 season. Still, we didn't know exactly how the Vikings planned to use him. He only saw one series, three plays in the preseason and none of it was too impressive, then he jumped feet first into the deep end with the regular season opener today against San Francisco.
What we didn't know was that the first play was drawn up for Cook...and the second would go to him...same with the third...and the fourth play of the game.
"I knew it coming into the gameplan what the first call was," Cook told KFAN after the game. "I got mentally ready for what was coming and it kind of got everything out of the way and I could settle down and play football."
All in all Cook would finish the game with 40 yards on 16 carries, but he tacked on another 55 yards on six receptions. Part of that was the game plan, part of it was just what the 49ers were giving them on the field.
"That's how some of it worked out," Cook explained. "That's the fun part. You get matchups out there that you want out there. I'm happy catching the football."
That's not to say that the Vikings didn't mix in Latavius Murray to spell Cook a little bit. Murray finished the day with 42 yards rushing on 11 carries proving that the two-headed attack can be affective for them as well.
The only negative mark on Cook's resume for week one was a fumbled football in the second quarter. Fighting tooth and nail for 15 yards up the middle, he got a little loose with the football as the defense ripped off his cleat. Asked what happened on the play, Cook said, "I was trying to make a play."
"I was close," he continued. "I think if I would have had my shoe on it would have been better. When you try to make plays thing shappen, but you have to take care of the football."
It's unclear at this point what the backfield will look like in the future this season. Will he carry more of the load or will the split continue? As long as both backs stay integrated into the game and affective, I don't think they care all that much.