Dalvin Cook returned to practice Tuesday on a limited basis, and Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said “there is a possibility” the running back will be able to play Thursday night against the Rams in Los Angeles.
Cook sat out the Vikings’ loss to Buffalo on Sunday because of a hamstring injury suffered on Sept. 16 against the Packers. Although the Vikings did not practice Monday, they issued an injury report and projected that Cook would not have taken part in that session.
While there was potentially positive news on Cook, the same could not be said for left tackle Riley Reiff. Reiff (foot) did not practice again Tuesday and there has to be concern about whether he will play Thursday, and how effective he will be if he does take the field.
Reiff had one of his worst games in his two years as the Vikings’ left tackle against the Bills and it might have been in part because of his foot injury. Pro Football Focus had Reiff surrendering 12 pressures, including one sack, two hits and nine hurries. Most of them were by Jerry Hughes. Reiff had given up only four hurries in the Vikings’ first two games.
If Reiff can’t play on Thursday, it’s possible that Rashod Hill could move from left to right tackle and rookie Brian O’Neill could start at right tackle. O’Neill has played in the past two games when Hill was forced out because of a foot injury. Hill was able to take part in all of Tuesday’s practice.
Zimmer did say that center Pat Elflein (ankle) will start on Thursday. Elflein, who did not play in the opening two games of the season after having offseason shoulder and ankle surgery, did not start against the Bills but was in for 22 snaps.
Defensive end Everson Griffen (knee and off-the-field issues) and cornerback Marcus Sherels (ribs) did not practice Tuesday and Griffen has been ruled out of Thursday’s game.
Cornerback Trae Waynes (ankle) was able to take part in all of Tuesday’s session after leaving Sunday’s game in the first quarter.