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Dalvin Cook participates fully for Vikings in Thursday’s practice

His status for Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints in London is still up in the air

Minnesota running back Dalvin Cook runs the ball as Detroit Lions linebacker Alex Anzalone (34) and cornerback Amani Oruwariye (24) pursue during the first quarter Sept. 25, 2022, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
Minnesota running back Dalvin Cook runs the ball as Detroit Lions linebacker Alex Anzalone (34) and cornerback Amani Oruwariye (24) pursue during the first quarter Sept. 25, 2022, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
Jeffrey Becker / USA Today Sports
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EAGAN, Minn. — Things appear to be trending in the right direction for Vikings running back Dalvin Cook as he works his way back from a dislocated shoulder.

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Dalvin Cook

After missing Wednesday’s practice at TCO Performance Center in Eagan, Cook was a full participant in Thursday’s practice.

That’s good news for the Vikings as they prepare for Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints in London.

If Cook is cleared to play this weekend, it’ll be because the Vikings deemed him healthy enough to do so.

“You never know how the next day is going to present itself,” Cook said earlier this week. “That’s why this thing is just take it day by day.”

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Because this is an injury Cook has dealt with several times in the past, he has learned the importance of making sure he’s 100 percent before returning to action. That could play a role in whether the Vikings choose to play him in Sunday’s game.

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On Sunday, the Vikings didn’t show much of anything. They were outgained 458 yards to 183 by the Cowboys.

“It’s not really a painful thing,” Cook said. “It’s just more of being smart about how I get through this thing.”

It’s worth noting that if Cook is unable to play, the Vikings have a very capable backup in Alexander Mattison.

'Like a proud father'

In the absence of starting safety Harrison Smith last weekend, fellow safety Josh Metellus stepped up big time in a 28-24 win over the Detroit Lions. He had 11 tackles as well as the interception in the final seconds to seal the come-from-behind victory.

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Josh Metellus

“He did a nice job,” defensive coordinator Ed Donatell said. “He’s taken to the system, and he’s stepped up when he’s had his opportunities. It’s nice to know we have that depth in our program that has developed.”

Asked about seeing Metellus flourish on defense, special-teams coordinator Matt Daniels heaped praise.

“I was like a proud father,” Daniels said. “You get those guys like that that might get counted out from a defensive standpoint. You get labeled as only a special-teams guy. He poured his all into it, and for him to have success like that says a lot about the player and his professionalism.”

It looks like Smith is ready to return from his concussion this weekend. That means Metellus will go back to his role on special teams.

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“I was really encouraged to see how he played on defense,” Daniels said. “I’m also glad to get him back.”

Belief in Joseph

Though he missed a pair of 56-yard field-goal attempts against the Lions, kicker Greg Joseph hasn’t lost his confidence. Nor have the Vikings lost their confidence in him.

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Greg Joseph

“You’d love for Greg to knock those through,” Daniels said. “He felt like he hit the ball really well, so that’s the most important part for us.”

As for the decision to send Joseph out for a 56-yard field goal after he already missed a kick from the same distance, Daniels said it was about showing confidence in him.

“He had an opportunity to get another shot at the 56-yarder, so absolutely, let’s send him back out there,” Daniels said. “That’s exactly what we did. I still feel good about where Greg is. I still have the utmost confidence in him, and I know he’ll bounce back and be ready to go.”

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