EAGAN, Minn. — Stefon Diggs is questionable for the Minnesota Vikings‘ season opener against the Atlanta Falcons after a hamstring injury forced the wide receiver to miss Wednesday’s practice and limited him in Thursday’s and Friday’s sessions.
Tight end Tyler Conklin is also listed as questionable on the final injury report. The Vikings will be without cornerback Mike Hughes, who returned to practice in limited capacity for the first time since tearing his ACL in October 2018. Coach Mike Zimmer said this week that Hughes is “getting real close” but did not give a specific date for his return.
Asked whether he’s optimistic about Diggs being able to play, Zimmer said, “We’ll see. I don’t know.”
Diggs only missed one game in 2018, his first 1,000-yard receiving season as a pro. The wide receiver was held out of the Vikings’ win over Detroit in Week 9 after he injured his ribs the week before.
One notable Vikings player without limitations or restrictions for Sunday’s season opener is running back Dalvin Cook, who enters his third season fully healed from the ACL and hamstring injuries that limited him to just 15 games in his first two years.
Cook played five snaps of preseason football, culminating with an 85-yard touchdown run in the first quarter against the Cardinals. The running back has made it clear that his health is where it needs to be in order to shoulder a heavy workload.
“I’m ready,” Cook said. “I practice every day. I push myself, I lift weights. You know your body more than anybody, so I know I’m ready to go mentally and physically.”
Walking the line between getting Cook a lot of touches and making sure his workload doesn’t teeter into overuse, Zimmer noted the role the Vikings’ depth will play in keeping Cook fresh.
“It’s a catch-22 a little bit because you want him out there all the time,” Zimmer said. “But I like [Alexander] Mattison, [Ameer] Abdullah and [Mike] Boone, those guys. We’ve got a good group of running backs here that can give him some spells in there. We’ll try to be smart about it. But chances are, if it’s the end of the game, he’s going to be out there.”
Zimmer said Cook’s previous injury history doesn’t play into the Vikings managing the running back’s workload more than others.
“I don’t worry about it,” Zimmer said. “Anybody can get a knee and a hamstring. I don’t worry about all of that. …We understand the problems about if somebody gets hurt, they get hurt. That’s just life. That’s why we try to stay with some depth.”