Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook is unlikely to play in the big showdown with the Green Bay Packers on Monday night because of a shoulder injury, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Thursday.
The Vikings are even leaning toward shutting down Cook for the last two regular-season games, hoping to have him ready for the playoffs, sources told ESPN's Courtney Cronin. The Vikings can clinch a playoff berth with a victory Monday. Minnesota (10-4) trails Green Bay (11-3) by a game in the NFC North, but the Packers hold the tiebreaker.
Cook, the Vikings' leading rusher with 1,135 yards, was injured at the beginning of the third quarter during Sunday's 39-10 win over the Los Angeles Chargers. Cook was leading Minnesota in rushing with nine carries for 27 yards.
On second-and-3 on the Vikings' first drive of the third quarter Sunday, with Minnesota leading by nine points, quarterback Kirk Cousins pitched the ball to Cook, who shuffled to his right before being wrapped up around the ankles by Chargers linebacker Denzel Perryman. Cook instantly went down and was tended to on the field by trainers. He walked to the sideline, disappeared inside the medical tent and was ruled out shortly thereafter.
Cook had already been dealing with a shoulder injury, suffered in Week 11 against the Broncos.
Neither Cook nor Mattison participated in Thursday's practice, according to the team's injury report.