Christian Darrisaw joins Dalvin Cook as out for Sunday’s game at Detroit
Coaches anticipate nose tackle Michael Pierce will be activated off injured reserve for Sunday after missing seven games due to an elbow injury. Defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson also is expected to play after sitting out at San Francisco while on the COVID-19 reserve list.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Not only will the Minnesota Vikings not have running back Dalvin Cook on Sunday at Detroit, left tackle Christian Darrisaw also won’t play.
The Vikings on Friday ruled Cook (shoulder) and Darrisaw (ankle) out for the game after neither practiced all week. Cook had been expected to not play against the Lions after he was lost for the game in the third quarter of last Sunday’s 34-26 loss at San Francisco. Darrisaw left that game in the fourth quarter.
Cook will be replaced by Alexander Mattison and Darrisaw by Rashod Hill. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said Cook is “feeling good” but doesn’t know if there’s any chance he could be back on a short week for next Thursday’s game against Pittsburgh at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The Vikings also ruled out reserve safety Camryn Bynum (ankle), who on Sunday will miss his second straight game. Listed as questionable were linebackers Anthony Barr (knee/hamstring) and Eric Kendricks (biceps) and cornerback Mackensie Alexander (ribs). Barr, who hurt his hamstring in the third quarter against the 49ers, returned to practice Friday after sitting out Wednesday and Thursday and Kendricks was back after sitting out Thursday’s workout.
Zimmer anticipates nose tackle Michael Pierce will be activated off injured reserve for Sunday after missing seven games due to an elbow injury. Defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson also is expected to play after sitting out at San Francisco while on the COVID-19 reserve list.
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Zimmer said cornerback Patrick Peterson is “close” and “maybe” will play Sunday. Peterson, who is fully vaccinated and went on the COVID list last Monday after testing positive, needs two negative tests 24 hours apart to be eligible to play.
“Hopefully we get some guys back and they play good,” Zimmer said.
No Swift for Lions
The Vikings aren’t alone in having their top running back sidelined with a shoulder injury. Detroit’s D’Andre Swift, hurt in a 16-14 loss to Chicago on Thanksgiving, was ruled out Friday.
Swift leads the Lions with 555 yards rushing. He will be replaced by Jamaal Williams, who has 388 yards on the ground.
“They’ve still got Jamaal Williams, who’s a really good back,” Zimmer said. “Power. He does a lot of the same things. Good in protection. And (Detroit reserve running back) Godwin Igwebuike has great speed. So I don’t think (Swift being out) will change their offense too much.”
The Lions also listed as out linebackers Trey Flowers (knee) and Jalen Reeves-Maybin (shoulder) and cornerback Bobby Price (shoulder). Listed as questionable were tackle Penei Sewell (illness), defensive end Michael Brockers (knee) and tackle Matt Nelson (ankle).
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins considers games at Detroit to be the closest he gets in the NFL to a homecoming.
Cousins starred at Holland (Mich.) Christian High School, which is 183 miles from Ford Field, and at Michigan State in East Lansing, which is 87 miles away.
“I think it’s a little different for me than just any other away game,’’ Cousins said. “Playing in Detroit does feel, to some degree, like I’m going back home. That’s where our high school state championship games were played. I didn’t play in one but that’s where you grew up dreaming of playing as a high school player.”
Cousins is 3-1 as a starter in games at Detroit, losing 20-17 with Washington in 2016 and with the Vikings winning 27-19 in 2018, 43-30 in 2019 and 37-35 last year. In his three games with Minnesota at Ford Field, he has thrown for 996 yards and 10 touchdowns.