Vikings running back Dalvin Cook told coach Mike Zimmer that Cook will be at training camp. Unless he didn’t.
Agent Zac Hiller provided this statement to Adam Schefter of ESPN: “First, congrats to Coach Zimmer on his well-earned extension. However, Dalvin has not spoken to him in regards to reporting to camp. We are unsure why this was said. I hope Dalvin can continue to play a major role in the Vikings future success.”
“I was told he would be” present for the start of camp, Zimmer said Saturday. Zimmer then made it clear that he received the message from Cook himself.
If Cook doesn’t report on July 28, he’ll be subject to $50,000 per day in fines. He’ll also instantly lose a year of credit toward free agency.
More importantly, the Vikings have Alexander Mattison, and they run an offense that is conducive to tailbacks racking up significant yardage. Offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak ran the same offense in Denver, when the Broncos had four different 1,000-yard rushers in a five-year span, from 1998 through 2002: Terrell Davis, Olandis Gary, Mike Anderson, and Clinton Portis. (Two years later, Reuben Droughns rushed for 1,240 in the same system. Two years after that, Tatum Bell rushed for 1,025.)
Besides, calling out a head coach with a fresh coat of job security may not be the best way to navigate the situation. So if Cook does’t show up, the train will keep rolling, with Mattison in the lead car.