EAGAN, Minn. Minnesota Vikings racing back Dalvin Cook will miss Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions over his father’s death, according to a league source.
Cook returned to his Miami home on Tuesday to be with his siblings and will miss the Vikings’ daily COVID-19 tests, making him unavailable for the season finale, according to the source.
Cook’s father James was 46 years old. The Vikings tweeted their condolences to Cook on Wednesday but failed to reveal the status of two-time pro bowler for Sunday.
The entire Viking organization thinks of Dalvin and his family after Dalvin’s father, James Cook, passed away.
– Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) December 30, 2020
James Cook, Dalvin’s younger brother who is Georgia’s second largest rusher, also returned to Miami and will not be playing at the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl on Friday.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins and rookie wide receiver Justin Jefferson on Wednesday offered condolences to Cook, who has been selected to be the recipient of the Korey Stringer Good Guy Award in 2020. The Minnesota Chapter of the Pro Football Writers Association presents this award to a Viking player each year to recognize the collaboration and professionalism of the media.
Cook leads the NFL in yards of scrimmage (1,918) and scrimmage yards per game (137) and has scored 17 touchdowns this season. He is second in the league with 1,557 yards, behind Tennessee Titans star Derrick Henry (1,777).
Cook, along with Adrian Peterson and Robert Smith, was the only player in Viking history to race 1,500 meters in one season.
During his weekly press conference on Wednesday, Viking trainer Mike Zimmer declined to say if he decided to rest the starters in week 17. Minnesota was excluded from the postseason competition because of a loss on Christmas Day to the New Orleans Saints.
Even if there was a post-season impact, Cook would not have enough time to clear the COVID-19 logs to be allowed to play. The NFL has a six-day testing window for newly arriving players, a waiting period that applies to any interruption in the daily testing process.
Cook’s absence will bring Henry a second straight title. The next closest players to Cook in the league leaderboard are more than 700 yards behind Henry, who enters the final week. Henry will be the first repeat winner since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006 and 2007.
Cook also finished second in team history on the single-season list for yards from scrimmage, behind Peterson’s 2,314 total yards in 2012 when he won the league’s MVP award. Peterson, with 18 points in 2009, is the only Viking player to have more quick touchdowns in a season.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.