Vikings’ Dalvin Cook Ends Season Early Following Father’s Unexpected Death

by Josh Lanier

Vikings running back Dalvin Cook won’t suit up for the team’s game against the Detroit Lions on Sunday. Cook returned home to Miami after the sudden death of his father, James, on Tuesday.

Officials haven’t released the cause of death. But Pro Football Talk reported that James Cook was suffering from complications of diabetes. He was 46.

Dalvin Cook uploaded photos of his dad on Instagram Tuesday.

The Vikings gave their condolences after the announcement.

“The entire Vikings organization is thinking of Dalvin and his family following the passing of Dalvin’s father, James Cook,” the team tweeted.

Cook was having one of the best seasons of his career this year. His season now ends with 1,557 yards rushing and 16 TDs. Cook and Alvin Kamara have an equal amount for the most rushing TDs heading into week 17. He is about 200 yards behind Derrick Henry for the rushing title. He signed a five-year, $63 million extension earlier this season, making him one of the highest-paid backs in the NFL.

It’s unclear who will replace Cook in the backfield on Sunday. Alexander Mattison recently suffered a concussion. Ameer Abdullah could get the start against his former team if Mattison is unable to play, reported.

Derrick Henry Says Calvin Cook Best RB in the NFL

Earlier this season, reporters asked Titans running back Derrick Henry who he thought was the best running back in the NFL. Despite choosing himself, he answered that Dalvin Cook was “always dominating” and deserved the crown.

“Dalvin Cook is having a phenomenal season,” Henry said of his fellow running back. “Right now, I would say he’s the best back in football. Just week after week, always dominating. Always having a great game. Running the ball. Catching the ball. Very explosive.”

“I love watching him run on film,” Henry continued. “He is doing a great job this year. That guy’s just been incredible the whole year. He runs hard, runs through tackles, makes guys miss. He’s just been balling.”