Vikings’ Cook, Jefferson named to Pro Bowl

Vikings running back Dalvin Cook and wide receiver Justin Jefferson have been selected by players, fans and coaches to the 2021 NFL Pro Bowl.

Cook, 25, is selected to his second consecutive Pro Bowl after leading the fan voting as the top NFC running back among vote-getters. Entering Week 16, Cook leads the NFL with 1,833 scrimmage yards and is tied for first with 15 rushing touchdowns. During the Week 15 matchup against Chicago, the fourth-year running back became the third Viking in team history to rush for over 1,400 yards in a season and passed Adrian Peterson’s 2009 season total (1,383) to move into fifth place in franchise history with 1,484 rushing yards. Peterson (2008, 2012, 2015) and Robert Smith (2000) are the only other Vikings to tally at least 1,400 rushing yards or more in a season.

The Florida State product was named NFC Offensive Player of the Month after leading the NFL with 641 rushing yards on 127 attempts and an average of 128.2 rushing yards per game through five contests in November. His 641 yards were the seventh-most rushing yards recorded in the month of November in NFL history, and the total set a team record for the month of November. His 128.2 rushing yards per game and 166.4 scrimmage yards per game also ranked third in Vikings history for the month.

Cook’s eight 100-yard rushing games in 2020 are tied with Robert Smith (2000) as the third-most 100-yard rushing games recorded in a season by a Viking. With 32 career touchdowns, Cook tied Smith for the fifth-most rushing touchdowns in team history. Cook’s 15 rushing touchdowns also tied the team record through 15 weeks. Peterson scored 15 rushing touchdowns through 15 weeks in 2009. The Miami, Florida, native received NFC Player of the Week honors in back-to-back weeks in Weeks 8-9, becoming the fourth Viking in team history to do so.

Jefferson garners his first Pro Bowl nod in his rookie campaign, joining only Viking rookie wide receivers Randy Moss (1998) and Sammy White (1976) to be named to the Pro Bowl in their first seasons. Jefferson also joins Moss and Amari Cooper (2015) as the only wide receivers in NFL history to be named to a Pro Bowl at the age of 21. Percy Harvin (2009) and Mecole Hardman (2019) were both selected at the age of 21 as return specialists.

The LSU product leads all rookie receivers with 1,182 yards and the total ranks eighth in the league entering Week 16. Jefferson also ranks sixth in the NFL among qualified receivers entering Week 16 with an average of 16.2 yards per reception (1,182/73). His 84.4 receiving yards per game rank ninth in the league while his 21 receptions of 20 or more yards are tied for the most in the NFL.

Coming off Week 15, Jefferson set the franchise rookie receptions record (73), breaking the previous mark of 69 set by Hall of Famer Randy Moss in 1998. With his 104-yard performance vs. Chicago, Jefferson became the fifth player in NFL history to record six 100-yard receiving games as a rookie. With 1,182 receiving yards this season, Jefferson passed Harlon Hill (1,124 in 1954), Bill Brooks (1,131 in 1986), Terry Glenn (1,132 in 1996) and Michael Thomas (1,137 in 2016) for the seventh-most receiving yards by a rookie in NFL history. The St. Rose, Louisiana, native became the fifth player in NFL history to record six 100-yard receiving games as a rookie, joining Billy Howton (six in 1952), Hill (seven in 1954), Odell Beckham Jr. (seven in 2014) and Bill Groman (nine in 1960).

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