It doesn’t look like Dalvin Cook will play on Sunday against Detroit. That makes Alexander Mattison look like an awfully appealing starter – maybe the best running back numbers of anyone in Week 5.
Cook has been battling an ankle sprain. He didn’t practice at all on Wednesday or Thursday. He did some work today and they say they’re undecided on him (they’re listing him as “questionable”) but if you were guessing today, the expectation would be that it would be Mattison in the featured role on Sunday – at home against a Detroit defense that can’t get out of its own way. The Vikings can win this game without Cook, and holding him out would give him a better opportunity to get healthy.
The Lions have been pretty consistently awful against the run. Aaron Jones scored 4 TDs against them in Week 2, and David Montgomery ran for 106 yards and 2 TDs on Sunday before leaving with a knee injury (Damien Williams stepped in any ran for another 55 yards, with another touchdown).
In Detroit’s last 20 games, nine of those opponents had a running back score 2 TDs. And half of those 20 teams had a running back go over 100 total yards (rushing and receiving).
Mattison should be the back the Vikings will be featuring. He’s not as talented as Cook (doesn’t have the same speed) but he’s a capable backup. Mattison ran for 112 yards against Seattle two weeks ago. And when he started in Week 17 against Detroit last year, he put up 145 yards (95 run, 50 rec) with 2 TDs.
|LAST 20 RUNNING BACKS VS. DETROIT|
|David Montgomery, Chi.||64||10||74||0|
|Aaron Jones, G.B.||168||68||236||3|
|Kenyan Drake, Ariz.||73||6||79||0|
|Alvin Kamara, N.O.||83||36||119||1|
|James Robinson, Jac.||29||24||53||1|
|Todd Gurley, Atl.||63||19||82||2|
|Jordan Wilkins, Ind.||89||24||113||1|
|• Dalvin Cook, Min.||206||46||252||2|
|Antonio Gibson, Wash.||45||20||65||2|
|Mike Davis, Car.||64||15||79||1|
|Duke Johnson, Hou.||37||43||80||1|
|David Montgomery, Chi.||72||39||111||2|
|Aaron Jones, G.B.||69||6||75||0|
|Derrick Henry, Ten.||147||5||152||1|
|Leonard Fournette, T.B.||34||32||66||1|
|• Alexander Mattison, Min.||95||50||145||2|
|Elijah Mitchell, S.F.||104||0||104||1|
|Aaron Jones, G.B.||67||48||115||4|
|Latavius Murray, Balt.||28||0||28||0|
|David Montgomery, Chi.||106||0||106||2|