Dalvin Cook inactive for Vikings against Lions, Anthony Barr set to debut

Dalvin Cook #33 of the Minnesota Vikings runs with the ball against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on September 12, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  ((Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images))

The Minnesota Vikings host the Detroit Lions at noon Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, and for the second time in three weeks, they’ll be without one of their top offensive players.

Dalvin Cook is inactive with an ankle injury he suffered in the second half of the Vikings’ Week 2 loss at Arizona after getting tackled by JJ Watt. Cook missed Minnesota’s home opener the following week, a 30-17 win over the Seattle Seahawks.

He tried to play through the ankle injury last week against the Cleveland Browns, but managed just nine carries for 34 yards in the Vikings’ 14-7 loss. Cook did not practice Thursday or Friday, was a limited participant in Friday’s practice before being listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.

Cook did an early individual workout at U.S. Bank Stadium, then went back into the locker room and did not join teammates for early stretching. Alexander Mattison will get the start in his place. Mattison ran for 112 of his 171 total yards in Minnesota's win over Seattle two weeks ago.

Other Vikings’ inactives Sunday include Kellen Mond, Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Wyatt Davis, Michael Pierce and Patrick Jones II. Pierce watched much of last Sunday’s loss to the Browns from the sidelines with an elbow injury, and did not practice all week.

In positive injury news, the linebacker Anthony Barr is expected to make his 2021 debut on Sunday. Barr suffered a torn pectoral muscle during Week 2 last year at Indianapolis, missing the rest of the season. He’s been dealing with a knee issue, which forced him to miss the first four games, but has had three weeks of practice and feels ready to play. Barr has missed 18 straight games, and Sunday will mark his first game in 13 months.

The Vikings badly need a win Sunday, off to a 1-3 start as they begin play in the NFC North Division and travel to Carolina next week before their bye.