Running back Dalvin Cook said his hamstring “feels great at this point” after the Vikings running back was held out of practice last week and missed Sunday’s loss to the Bills.
Ahead of a quick turnaround Thursday night in Los Angeles, Cook was listed as not practicing Monday but said he expects to play against a Rams defense that is allowing a league-best 12 points per game.
“Yeah, there’s a good chance,” Cook said.
Thursday night’s start to Week 4 will mark about one year since Cook’s rookie season ended with a torn ACL. Cook, who has 185 yards from scrimmage in two games this season, called it a “milestone.”
“It’s been awhile since I overcame that thing. It’s definitely a milestone,” Cook said. “I got back kind of early. That was the plan and I’m happy with that process.”
The Vikings offense was abysmal against the Bills without Cook in the lineup. A 17-0 deficit after the first quarter meant an abandoned running game that produced just 12 yards on four handoffs. Cook’s return would be a welcomed one, especially with Rams star running back Todd Gurley on the other sideline.
“I know he going to come out and try to run crazy,” Cook said. “That’s my game plan, too. I know T.G.; he’s a great running back. That’s why he just got paid for what he’s been doing. Just have to go out there and try to outrush their running game.”
Hughes took lumps
Cornerback Mike Hughes appeared to have some rookie moments in Sunday’s loss to the Bills. He came off the bench and rotated with slot corner Mackensie Alexander before Trae Waynes’ ankle njury forced him into a bigger role at left cornerback.
During a career-high 53 snaps on defense, Hughes was in coverage on a 22-yard completion and a deep dropped pass by a Bills receiver. He also muffed a punt return before recovering his own fumble.
“I know what I was supposed to do,” Hughes said. “But we left a lot of plays out there on the field obviously. I was definitely ready for when my name was called.”
Aches and pains
Waynes, who had an MRI on Monday on his injured ankle, was estimated as having been limited if the Vikings held a practice on Monday. Left tackle Riley Reiff (foot), defensive end Everson Griffen, Cook and cornerback Marcus Sherels (ribs) were listed as not practicing in the team’s estimated injury report.
Elflein says he’s ready
Center Pat Elflein emerged from his Vikings debut on Sunday with 22 snaps and a feeling he can handle a full game heading into Thursday night’s matchup in L.A. Elflein came off the bench and replaced center Brett Jones in the second quarter.
“Wanted to test the waters a little bit; stamina felt good,” Elflein said Monday. “I feel great now. It was good to get out there and get the feet wet again.”
Bailey still waiting
Kicker Dan Bailey had one kickoff and an onside attempt in his first game for the Vikings, marking what he called a “pretty rare” occurrence where the eighth-year NFL veteran wasn’t on the field for a field goal or extra-point attempt.
“I know one for sure last year, but other than that I can’t think of too many,” said Bailey, who was signed last week. “It’s pretty rare. Sometimes that’s just how it works. I was ready regardless.”