SEATTLE — Durability has been the only significant issue Vikings running back Dalvin Cook has had to contend with in his first three NFL seasons.
Cook missed the final 12 games as a rookie in 2017 with a torn ACL. He then sat out five games last year with a hamstring injury.
Cook had remained healthy this season until Monday night, when he was lost with a right shoulder injury in the third quarter of a 37-30 loss to Seattle at CenturyLink Field. But Cook vowed after the game the injury won’t keep him out long.
“I’ll definitely be ready to go Sunday,’’ Cook said of the game against Detroit at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said Cook’s injury is not serious.
Cook was hurt with 8:50 left in the third quarter when he was hit by Seattle defensive lineman Rasheem Green and lost a fumble that Bradley McDougland recovered at the Minnesota 26. That led to a 29-yard field goal by Jason Myers, which gave the Seahawks the lead for good at 20-17.
“I’m good,’’ Cook said. “It’s part of the game. It’s a physical sport. That’s what comes with it. I just have to fight through it. I’ll be good, though.’’
Cook, who was replaced by Alexander Mattison, said he could have returned to the game but that he was held out for “precautionary’’ reasons.
Cook said he was hit in a similar place in a 27-23 win over Denver on Nov. 17, Minnesota’s last game before a bye week. Cook was on the injury report one day last week with what was termed a chest injury but was not on Saturday’s final injury report with any designation of possibly not playing.
“He just hit me right on what I had when we played the Broncos,’’ 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.
“I’s a weird injury that I’ve got. 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.’’
Cook was held to 29 yards on nine carries. He is fifth in the NFL in rushing with 1,046 yards.
Cook fumbled twice Monday. The Vikings were able to recover one he had late in the second quarter, and Dan Bailey soon kicked a 47-yard field goal for a 17-10 halftime lead.
He wasn’t as fortunate on his second fumble.
“No matter if I get injured or not, I can’t turn the ball over,’’ Cook said. “I hold myself (fully) responsible for not turning the ball over. I pride myself on not turning the ball over. … You can’t give them gimmies, and I gave them a gimmie before the half.’’
In addition to Cook being out, the Vikings played the second half without left tackle Riley Reiff, who suffered a concussion in the first half. They came in without wide receiver Adam Thielen, who missed his third straight game with a hamstring injury.
“We didn’t play well enough to win,’’ said Vikings coach Mike Zimmer. “I’m not going to put it on guys that are hurt.’’
Vikings wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, in his fourth season, has confidence in a quick return by Cook.
“I’ve seen what he’s been through and he’s a fighter,” Treadwell said. “I know whatever it is he will overcome it, be back here and doing what he loves.”
The Vikings, who came in averaging 142.5 yards rushing per game, were held to 78 yards on the ground. Take away a 27-yard run in the first half by wide receiver Stefon Diggs, and Minnesota running backs had just 51 yards.
Still, after falling behind 34-17 early in the fourth quarter, the Vikings were able to close the deficit to 34-30.
“We fought our tails off,’’ Cook said. “I’m proud of those guys. … We didn’t capitalize but I’m proud of the guys with how they fought. We’ve just got to respond quick. That’s the type of team we’ve got. We’ll be ready to go Sunday against Detroit.’’