Replacing injured Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cook is particularly difficult for the Vikings at the goal line, where Alexander Mattison was among players stalled on a trio of two-point conversion attempts during Sunday's 29-27 loss at Detroit.

Mattison found room between the end zones, picking up 124 yards on 25 touches, including an 8-yard touchdown run in which he fought through multiple defenders. He wasn't so successful on his two-point carry, when Lions defensive lineman Nick Williams got past right tackle Brian O'Neill to hit lead blocker C.J. Ham. That left Mattison alone with a linebacker short of the goal line.

"One of the guys ended up [breaking through]," Mattison said Monday, "just kind of cluttered it up, and I tried to be my own blocker and get in there one-on-one with the backer. He had leverage on me. We just have to clean it up on the inside, and we'll make sure that we convert that next time."

Short-yardage situations have been a grind for the Vikings' run game this season. Mattison's touchdown Sunday was the team's seventh rushing score; only the Texans have fewer. The Vikings haven't often blocked well enough to run through the finish line.

They missed five consecutive point-after situations against the Lions and 49ers, including four two-point tries and kicker Greg Joseph's missed extra point at San Francisco. Under Mike Zimmer, only the 2018 Vikings offense has had less success running inside the 10-yard line than this season's 35% first down/touchdown rate.

"It's hard to score, let alone be a yard away with 11 guys stacking up against you," Mattison said. "Everything kind of has to go perfect. So, if a block might not get all the way covered or whatever it might be."

Thielen, Cook listed DNP

Players participated in a walkthrough Monday with only three full days to prepare for Thursday night's game against Pittsburgh. The team released an injury report, but only "estimated" the participation of injured players.

Receiver Adam Thielen, who suffered a high ankle sprain on the first drive against the Lions, was among four not practicing, as well as Cook (shoulder), tackle Christian Darrisaw (ankle) and linebacker Blake Lynch (hip).

Linebackers Anthony Barr (hamstring/knee) and Eric Kendricks (biceps) were listed as limited. Zimmer said Sunday night he expected to "get some guys back" against the Steelers. That could include corner Patrick Peterson, who remained on the COVID-19 list on Monday.

Fleeting pass rush

Defensive end D.J. Wonnum said the Vikings line has to be "relentless" in end-of-game situations, even as Lions quarterback Jared Goff got the ball out quickly to underneath receivers and Zimmer didn't apply extra pressure on him. But Wonnum benefited in the first half from a design that led to a botched Lions pass protection and Wonnum's third sack of the season.

"Unblocked," Wonnum said. "We had two linebackers lined up in the 'A' gaps, which kind of took that tackle off me and I was able to just go get him. So, great play call by coach and executed well."

Cole, the utility guy

Mason Cole made his fifth consecutive start for the Vikings offensive line, and his first at right guard amid the shuffle that sent Oli Udoh to left tackle for the injured Darrisaw. Coaches chose Udoh over Rashod Hill at left tackle, making Cole a guard for the third time in his NFL career. He might draw another start there against the Steelers.

"There's always a few plays you wish you could have back," Cole said. "But overall, I think it went well. I think I felt more comfortable as the game went on. It's a little different but I'm confident in any three of those interior spots."