Vikings RB Dalvin Cook avoids serious injury to shoulder

SEATTLE -- Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook suffered an injury to his right shoulder in the third quarter of Monday night's 37-30 loss to the Seattle Seahawks and did not return.

Cook was injured on the first play of the Vikings' second drive after halftime. He received a handoff at the 8:56 mark and Seattle defensive end Rasheem Green punched the ball free, forcing a fumble. Cook was tripped up and fell to the ground, where he remained for several minutes and looked to be in severe pain while being tended to by athletic trainers.

"He just hit me right on what I had when we played the Broncos [on Nov. 17]," Cook said. "He hit me right on it when he went to punch for the ball. It was kind of like a different feeling. It was different. But he got me in a good spot."

Cook took a hit to the same area ahead of halftime on a play where he notched his first of two fumbles.

"It's a weird injury that I've got," he said. "It's kind of like when I land in an awkward spot, it hurts. So I kind of try to land to where it doesn't hurt. So it was awkward the way I was landing. It's a physical sport. At the end of the year, there's some bumps and bruises, but I'll be all right.

"No matter if I get injured or not, I can't turn the ball over. I hold myself 1,000% responsible for not turning the ball over. I pride myself on not turning the ball over. I can't put myself in that situation when I turn the ball over. And that's what they pride themselves on. You can't give them gimmes. And I gave them a gimme before the half. I've got to take care of the football and I think we'll be all right."

Despite remaining on the sideline after being evaluated in the locker room, the running back said he felt like he could have returned to the game if needed, but the team chose to keep him out for "precautionary" reasons.

"It's a lot that we've got ahead of us," Cook said. "The guys that are behind me, Alex [Mattison] and [Mike] Boone and Ameer [Abdullah], they're top guys. They could be starting on somebody's team. We've got a lot of trust in those guys. Alex came in and played a good game. Boone stepped in some plays. We just have to know what we have ahead of us. We have four crucial games ahead of us. I've got to be ready to go for those games. I was all-in for them holding me out and I'm looking forward to what we've got ahead of us."

Cook said he'll "definitely" be ready to play in Week 14 when the Vikings host the Detroit Lions.

Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs also was injured on the play but was able to return to the game on Minnesota's following drive.

"I got rolled up on my leg," Diggs said. "Little scared afterwards but I'm OK. I'm fine."

Cook, the Vikings' leading rusher, had nine carries for 29 yards and a touchdown along with three receptions for 35 yards.

Minnesota was already dealing with the absence of wide receiver Adam Thielen, who was ruled out Sunday with a lingering hamstring injury. Left tackle Riley Reiff was ruled out late in the third quarter with a concussion.