Zimmer on Cook: ‘When he gets the ball in space, people can’t catch him’

Vikings RB Dalvin Cook has been named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 10. Cook paced the Vikings in both rushing yards (97) and receiving yards (86) to lead Minnesota past Dallas, 28-24, on Sunday Night Football.

With 183 total yards in the contest, he has surpassed 100 scrimmage yards a league-leading eight times in 2019. Cook’s 86 yards through the air also tied a career-high.

“I thought the offensive line did an outstanding job, and he’s (Cook) is a great player,” Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said on Wednesday. “We stayed on blocks, we finished blocks, the tight ends did a nice job, and receivers did a good job when they were in there blocking. Kirk got us in the right plays, and Dalvin is a great runner.”

Through 10 games, the former Florida State Seminole leads the NFL with 991 rushing yards and 1,415 scrimmage yards, while his 10 rushing touchdowns rank third in the league. Cook’s 1,415 scrimmage yards also set a franchise record and is the highest 10-game total in the NFL since DeMarco Murray’s 1,514 scrimmage yards in 2014. Overall, his 991 rushing yards through Week 10 are more than 15 NFL teams have totaled all season.

“You know, I always knew that he(Cook) was a terrific runner,” Zimmer said. “But, I think the other two things, how hard he runs and that the first person typically doesn’t tackle him, has been really impressive. And then the other part is when he gets the ball in space, people can’t catch him. He just has that extra gear.”

With Cook and Alexander Mattison carrying the load for Minnesota, life for Vikings QB Kirk Cousins is good. Many expected Cook to have a big year, and after 10 games, he is doing just that. 

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Vikings bring back Andrew Sendejo

The Minnesota Vikings have signed S Andrew Sendejo, the team announced today. Sendejo rejoins the Vikings after spending the first nine weeks of the season with the Philadelphia Eagles, where he appeared in nine games (one start) and made 26 tackles, two passes defensed, 1.0 sack, two tackles for loss and one interception, according to league stats.

The San Antonio, Texas, native had previously spent eight seasons (2011-2018) in Minnesota, appearing in 93 games with 58 starts and totaling 341 tackles, 1.0 sack, six interceptions, and 17 passes defensed. The former Rice Owl originally entered the NFL in 2010 as an undrafted free agent with Dallas, appearing in two games for the Cowboys that season.

To make room for Sendejo, Minnesota waived S Marcus Epps.

Vikings release Marcus Sherels

The Minnesota Vikings have released returner/corner Marcus Sherels, the team announced today.

Sherels, 32, returned to Minnesota in September after spending the offseason with the Saints. The nine-year veteran spent his whole career with Minnesota and holds franchise records for punt return yardage, punt return touchdowns, and punt return average. With Sherels out, expect corner Mike Hughes to take over punt return duties for Minnesota.

The Vikings are set to host the Redskins on Thursday, and with the uncertainty with WR Adam Thielen, who left the Vikings’ 42-30 victory over the Lions on Sunday with a hamstring injury, it should be interesting to see what the Vikings do with the open roster spot.

Thielen on Cousins: ‘He is going to prove that he is a top quarterback in this league’

In the last two weeks, Vikings QB Kirk Cousins is starting to play like the “84 Million Dollar Man.” In Week 5 against the Giants, Cousins threw for 306 yards and two touchdowns, and on Sunday against Philadelphia; he threw for 333 yards and four touchdowns as the Vikings defeated the visiting Eagles 38-20.

After struggling in the first few weeks of the season, Cousins, who signed a three-year, $84 million contract in 2018, seems to have hit his stride, which is a good thing for Minnesota. Vikings WR Adam Thielen, who criticized Cousins after their loss to the Bears, believes Cousins is playing like the guy that they thought he would be in 2019.

“That is just the kind of guy he is,” Thielen said on Sunday. “He is going to learn from his mistakes each week. He is going to go back and watch the film and figure out what he needs to do better, just like we all do. You go back after a win or loss, and you look and say, “Well, could I do better?” He is a guy that we trust every week, he is going to give us his all, and he is going to keep getting better. He is going to prove that he is a top quarterback in this league and that he can play at a high level. You saw that today.”

On Friday, Cousins’ former teammate in Washington and current Eagles LB Zach Brown, called Cousins the “weakest” part of the Vikings’ offense. According to WR Stefon Diggs, who caught seven passes for 167 yards and three touchdowns against Philadelphia, Cousins answered a lot of questions on Sunday.

“As for former teammates, their personal opinion doesn’t matter,” Diggs said. “I think Kirk answered all your questions. He went out there and played his butt off.”

Cousins had a great two weeks against some bad secondaries(Giants and Eagles), so let’s keep that in mind, but to see him play this well has to be exciting for anybody associated with the Minnesota Vikings. And if it continues, Minnesota is going to be tough to beat moving forward.

Cousins: ‘We have a very special running back in Dalvin Cook’

The recipe for the Minnesota Vikings this season is running the ball with Dalvin Cook and playing big-time defense, and on Sunday against the Raiders, that recipe was on full display. Led by Dalvin Cook’s 110 rushing yards, the Vikings rushed for 211 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, as Minnesota trounced the Raiders 34-14 at U.S. Bank Stadium.

“Yeah, there’s a commitment to running the ball from our coaches philosophically and the way they game plan and the way they call plays, so that’s first of all given us a chance,” Cousins said after the game. “We have a very special running back in Dalvin Cook. He’s shown that. So those are two big pieces. And then our offensive line is executing the plays.”

The Vikings have more rushing yards than passing yards this season, and on Sunday, Cook became the first running back in Minnesota’s history to rush for three straight one-hundred yard games, which makes Cook happy.

It’s great. Chuck [Foreman] has been through this organization, Adrian Peterson as well,” Cook said. “Those are some household names, and to just be mentioned along with those guys is great.”

The third-yard back is leading the NFL in rushing yards, and his running mate, Alexander Mattison, who ran for 58 yards and one touchdown on Sunday, is very impressed by what he has seen by Cook this season.

“He is amazing and explosive,” Mattison said. “His intensity and his energy are amazing, so he provides that big dose of energy that we need as a running back room, as an offense, so it’s amazing for him to get out there and get things rolling the ways he does. We then just try to carry the team.”

According to Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, what impresses him the most about Cook is his toughness.

“He doesn’t need a lot of space, because he’s really good at slithering through holes,” Zimmer said. “Maybe the most impressive thing with him is toughness in the tackles. He doesn’t ever want to go down, but he’s a physical runner with great speed and home run ability.”

Many expected Cook to have an outstanding season, and after three weeks, he is off to a tremendous start.

Vikings’ Anthony Harris named NFC Defensive Player of the Week

Vikings S Anthony Harris has been named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against Atlanta in Week 1. Harris had a career game versus the Falcons, intercepting a pair of Matt Ryan passes that led to two touchdowns by the Vikings. The Chesterfield, Virginia, native also recovered his third-career fumble in the second quarter that resulted in a scoring drive by Minnesota.

Overall, Minnesota scored 21 points off Harris’ takeaways, sealing the Vikings’ 28-12 win on Kickoff Weekend. He tallied five tackles (three solo) and three passes defensed against the Falcons altogether. Harris’ four interceptions since Week 11 of the 2018 season are tied for most in the NFL while his two interceptions to start 2019 are tops in the league.

The NFC Player of the Week award is the first of Harris’ career, and the fifth by a Vikings defensive back under Head Coach Mike Zimmer. The Vikings have now had an NFC Player of the Week in four consecutive season openers.

Vikings bring back C Brett Jones

The Minnesota Vikings have brought back C Brett Jones, the team announced today. According to The Athletic’s Chad Graff, the Vikings never had Jones clear out his locker after they cut him last week, which makes you believe that the plan was to bring Jones back all along. 

The 28-year-old Jones was released by Minnesota after the team signed WR Josh Doctson.

To make room for Jones, the team released TE Brandon Dillon.

Vikings’ OC on Dalvin Cook: ‘I think he really fits the mentality of our offense, the mentality of our team’

If the preseason is any indication, RB Dalvin Cook could have a breakout season in 2019 for the Minnesota Vikings.  In his only preseason action, the third-year back ripped off an 85-yard TD run against the Cardinals. Cook, who was 41st overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, entered the 2018 season coming off a torn ACL in his rookie season. In 2018, Cook was solid as he rushed for 615 yards, including two rushing touchdowns, but the Vikings are hoping to get more out him this season.

Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski can’t wait to see Cook this weekend as Minnesota hosts the Atlanta Falcons.

“I’m really excited to see Dalvin (Cook) out there on Sunday,” Stefanski said on Thursday. “He’s a kid that, as you all know, works really hard and has worked his tail off to get back from injury so now he’s feeling healthy. He’s raring to go.”

According to Stefanski, Cook has shown that he has some leadership skills as well.

“The Dalvin Cook that I’m so impressed with is the leader, is the guy that works and leads by example, maybe not vocally all the time,” Stefanski said. “Our players are very well aware of that guy when he’s on the practice field because you see him not only doing his job but doing it with great passion and working. We’re in a drill, and he’ll go take a run and burst for an extra 50 yards because he’s getting into that shape. The guys just see a worker. I think he really fits the mentality of our offense, the mentality of our team.”

The best friend to any quarterback is a running game, and Vikings QB Kirk Cousins has had a lot of success with throws coming off of play-action throughout his career. If Cook can stay healthy and be productive, Cousins and the Vikings’ offense could have a lot of success on the offensive side of the ball this season. 

Vikings sign WR Josh Doctson

Josh Doctson has signed with the Minnesota Vikings, the team announced today. According to reports, it’s a one-year deal. The 26-year-old Doctson joined the Vikings after being released by Washington on Saturday.

The fourth-year pro has appeared in 33 career games with 26 starts, all with Washington, while posting 81 career receptions for 1,100 yards and eight touchdowns. Doctson was selected 22nd overall in the 2016 NFL Draft by Washington, where he was teammates with Vikings QB Kirk Cousins from 2016-17.

The Mansfield, Texas, native was teammates with Vikings practice squad T Aviante Collins at TCU from 2013-15.

Vikings cut Sloter, Vedvik, Treadwell; trims roster down to 53

The Minnesota Vikings announce the following roster moves:

WAIVED:

PLAYER………………. POS… EXP………………. COLLEGE

Ade Aruna (Injured)……. DE…… 2……………………. Tulane

Jeff Badet……………….. WR…… 1……………….. Oklahoma

Khari Blasingame……….. FB…… R……………….. Vanderbilt

Jake Browning…………… QB…… R……………… Washington

Reshard Cliett……………. LB…… 3…………… South Florida

Aviante Collins…………….. T…… 3………………………. TCU

Curtis Cothran…………… DT…… 1………………. Penn State

Davion Davis……………. WR…… R…… Sam Houston State

Devante Downs………….. LB…… 2………………… California

Cornelius Edison………….. C…… 4………….. Portland State

De’Angelo Henderson……. RB…… 3……….. Coastal Carolina

Cole Hikutini………………. TE…… 3…………………. Louisville

Alexander Hollins………. WR…… R………….. Eastern Illinois

Craig James……………… CB…… 2………… Southern Illinois

Stacy Keely………………. DE…… R………………………. UAB

John Keenoy………………. C…… R…….. Western Michigan

Greer Martini…………….. LB…… 1…………….. Notre Dame

Nate Meadors……………. CB…… R…………………….. UCLA

Dillon Mitchell…………… WR…… R…………………… Oregon

Storm Norton………………. T…… 2……………………. Toledo

Tito Odenigbo……………. DT…… R………………. Miami (FL)

Anree Saint-Amour…….. DE…… R…………… Georgia Tech

Karter Schult…………….. DE…… 2………….. Northern Iowa

Kyle Sloter……………….. QB…… 3…….. Northern Colorado

Cameron Smith………….. LB…… R……… Sothern California

Derron Smith………………. S…… 4……………. Fresno State

Duke Thomas……………. CB…… 2…………………….. Texas

Laquon Treadwell……… WR…… 4………………. Mississippi

Kaare Vedvik……………. P/K…… 1………………….. Marshall

Nate Wozniak……………… T…… 1……………….. Minnesota

Isaiah Wharton (Injured)……… S…… R………………….. Rutgers

Brandon Zylstra………… WR…… 2…. Concordia-Moorhead

 

PLACED ON RESERVE/SUSPENDED:

PLAYER………………. POS… EXP………………. COLLEGE         

Holton Hill……………….. CB…….. 2…………………….. Texas

 

PLACED ON RESERVE/PHYSICALLY UNABLE TO PERFORM (PUP):

PLAYER………………. POS… EXP………………. COLLEGE

David Morgan…………… TE…….. 4……. Texas-San Antonio

 

PLACED ON RESERVE/NON-FOOTBALL INJURY (NFI):

PLAYER………………. POS… EXP………………. COLLEGE

Tashawn Bower……….. DE…….. 3……………………….. LSU

 

ACQUIRED VIA TRADE FROM KANSAS CITY FOR A CONDITIONAL SELECTION IN 2021 NFL DRAFT:

PLAYER………………. POS… EXP………………. COLLEGE

Mark Fields……………… CB……. R…………………. Clemson

The Vikings active roster now stands at 53 players