Vikings RB Dalvin Cook talks sitting next to Sasquatch at Timberwolves opener

The Minnesota Vikings are back from their bye week, 5-1 and getting ready to host the Arizona Cardinals at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday.

Players arrived back to TCO Performance Center on Monday, and many went their separate ways to enjoy a week off. Some stayed home and watched football as fans, others went on vacation. Dalvin Cook stayed in Minneapolis, and was spotted courtside as the Minnesota Timberwolves opened their season with a 115-108 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

He also had an interesting character sitting next to him: Sasquatch, who told him during the game he lives in Miami, where Cook is from.

"I don’t know who was inside that thing. I had conversations with him. He told me he was from down south. His whole operation of what he’s got going on and how he keeps his body cool is kind of crazy. He’s got like 12 ice packs under his suit," Cook said Wednesday. "My agent just told me to show up, I showed up. I wanted to see some basketball, no better seats than the court. It was fun just having that experience, glad they got the win."

The bye week wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns for Cook. He got fined more than $7,400 by the NFL for throwing the football in the stands after his 53-yard touchdown run helped seal a win at Miami.

He jokingly tweeted earlier this week, "4 will not throw football in the stands after touchdown," multiple times. He’s taking an online class to get the fine reduced, and prevent it from happening again.

"I just don’t get it. It’s kind of crazy to me. Just something normal, ball in the stands. But that’s how the league works, live by their rules and you deal with the consequences," Cook said.


The vibe is different at TCO Performance Center and the locker room had energy as the Vikings are off to a 5-1 start in the Kevin O’Connell era. They even gained a half game lead in the NFC North after the Green Bay Packers lost to the Washington Commanders.

The ultimate reality is the start means nothing if they don’t finish it in the final 11 games, starting with Arizona on Sunday. That was O’Connell’s message to the team early this week in meetings. That, and they’ve found a way to win games despite not playing their best football.

"I said to them today we can be really proud of being 5-1 and overcoming some adversity and standing on the foundation of some of the pillars of how we’ve tried to build this team inside out, but ultimately you prove yourself each and every Sunday in this league," O’Connell said. "You just see it game in and game out, nothing is going to be easy."

That’s in part why veteran defensive back Patrick Peterson sent O’Connell a text early in the week, wanting the team’s leadership group to meet and make sure everyone was on the same page. Of the Vikings’ final 11 opponents, just four have an above .500 record (Bills, Jets, Giants and Cowboys). They also have all three NFC North opponents left, on the road.

It’s imperative they take advantage of every opportunity they get over the next 11 weeks.

"Us leaders on the team have to just keep sending that message. We’re still 0-0, we’re back to the basics. We’re starting over, everybody’s got a clean slate and let’s just go play some football," Cook said. "Let’s go play better football than we did before. Our record is 5-1, and let’s see what we can do."