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.

David Montgomery, Chi.6410740
Aaron Jones, G.B.168682363
Kenyan Drake, Ariz.736790
Alvin Kamara, N.O.83361191
James Robinson, Jac.2924531
Todd Gurley, Atl.6319822
Jordan Wilkins, Ind.89241131
• Dalvin Cook, Min.206462522
Antonio Gibson, Wash.4520652
Mike Davis, Car.6415791
Duke Johnson, Hou.3743801
David Montgomery, Chi.72391112
Aaron Jones, G.B.696750
Derrick Henry, Ten.14751521
Leonard Fournette, T.B.3432661
• Alexander Mattison, Min.95501452
Elijah Mitchell, S.F.10401041
Aaron Jones, G.B.67481154
Latavius Murray, Balt.280280
David Montgomery, Chi.10601062

—Ian Allan