Vikings RB Dalvin Cook active Thursday night against Steelers

The Minnesota Vikings host the Pittsburgh Steelers for Thursday Night Football at U.S. Bank Stadium, and running back Dalvin Cook is making his return.

Cook is active despite suffering a shoulder injury in the Vikings' loss at the 49ers just 11 days ago. Cook was carted off, and didn’t return. He did not play last Sunday in a loss to the Detroit Lions.

He'll wear a harness on his left shoulder Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and it's a matter of his tolerance for pain and how many offensive snaps the Vikings give him.

Cook reportedly suffered a dislocated shoulder against the 49ers. Mike Zimmer refuted reports after the 49ers’ game that suffered a torn labrum. He came into Thursday night's game listed as questionable, but got practice reps with the first-team offense this week.

Cook went through extensive rehab on his shoulder this week, and got clearance from the medical staff to play after a pregame workout. Cook leads the Vikings with 773 yards and four rushing touchdowns, averaging 4.5 yards per carry. He also missed time earlier this season with an ankle injury, suffered Week 2 at Arizona.

The Vikings' defense will also get Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks and Patrick Peterson back against the Steelers. Barr and Kendricks missed the Lions' loss with injuries, and Peterson was on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

The Vikings are 5-7 and badly need a win Thursday night to stay in the NFC Playoff conversation with five games to play. If they don't beat the Steelers, more questions start to surface on Zimmer's job security with the Vikings.