The Vikings could get one of their most explosive playmakers back in the lineup this week if Dalvin Cook is allowed to play Thursday night against the Rams in Los Angeles.
Cook, who missed Sunday's blowout loss to the Bills with a hamstring injury, returned to practice in a limited role on Tuesday and head coach Mike Zimmer said it's possible that he could play on Thursday.
"There’s a possibility [Cook plays]," Zimmer said. "I mean, I always hope to have him. But there’s a chance he could play."
It's unclear what the exact problem with his hamstring is, but Cook said he's still taking it "day to day."
"It’s just something you can’t control, so it’s just how it feels Thursday," he said.
Offensive line could have a major problem
Meanwhile, the offensive line has more problems even though Pat Elflein will start at center for the first time this season. Elflein played 22 snaps at center during the second and third quarters of Sunday's blowout loss to the Bills.
“I thought he did pretty well,” Zimmer said. “And yes, he’ll start.”
Elflein was inactive the first two games of the season after missing all of training camp and preseason while he rehabbed offseason ankle and shoulder surgeries.
The problem is a foot injury that has kept Riley Reiff out of practice all week. If he's out the Vikings will have to get creative by moving Rashod Hill to right to left tackle, then start rookie Brian O'Neill at right tackle. They could also move Mike Remmers from right guard to left tackle and give Brett Jones the start in Remmers' place.
We'll see what happens, but the Rams boast the top scoring defense in the NFL and their defensive line, featuring Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh and Michael Brockers, could wreak havoc on a Vikings line that was embarrassed by the Bills just four days ago.