Vikings lift workload restrictions on RB Dalvin Cook after hamstring injury

EAGAN, Minn. -- For the first time since he injured his hamstring in overtime of Minnesota's 29-29 tie at Green Bay on Sept. 16, Dalvin Cook was not listed on the Vikings' injury report entering Week 11.

Following Cook's return against Detroit on Nov. 4 -- when he notched 10 carries for 89 yards and caught four passes for 20 yards -- and after Minnesota's bye week, the second-year running back was back in practice as a full participant on Wednesday and Thursday.

When the Vikings face the Bears on Sunday Night Football in a matchup for first place in the NFC North, Cook is not expected to have a restriction on his workload.

"To us, Dalvin's full go," Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo said. "Obviously you're going to see how the game is played out and those things. Dalvin's anticipating being full go."

Throughout his rehabilitation process, Cook has referred to the tricky nature of hamstring injuries and how he had to rely on "feel" in order to know whether he would be able to play in games versus sitting out a certain number of days and expecting to be better.

Though he wouldn't place a percentage on just how much his hamstring has healed, the running back noted how good it feels to be finally healthy.

"I'm ready to go," Cook said. "We're going to see if I'm 100 percent. My body, I feel great. So yeah, I'm there."

This will be just the second time this season Cook has been available to play in consecutive games. The running back missed both meetings against Chicago last year after suffering a season-ending ACL tear in his left knee in Week 4 of his rookie season.

"I'm hype," Cook said. "Around this year last time I was on the couch watching my team compete, wishing I could be out here. Now I'm out here, I've got to take full advantage of it. I'm hype, I'm ready to go."

In Cook's last prime-time game against the Rams on Sept. 27, the running back was on a pitch count that limited him to the first half, when he rushed 10 times for 20 yards. His next opportunity to shine in a national spotlight comes against Detroit's second-ranked rushing defense, which is limiting teams to 3.6 yards per rush.

Success against Chicago's stout defensive front will be predicated on Cook's explosive burst and will likely carry over to him playing a considerable role in the passing game.

"When you play defensive lines that interact with the offensive line so quick and you've got linebackers that trigger as fast as they do and make as many tackles as they do, once you get to the second level and you break a tackle ... (there are) big runs out there to be made," he said. "We just got to take advantage of that and get to the second level."