Dec 31, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta speaks with tight end Mark Andrews on the sidelines before the game against the Miami Dolphins  at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Rested Ravens prep for multiple opponents, could have reinforcements

Back from a bye to start the postseason, the Baltimore Ravens are keeping their focus tight.

Part of the welcome challenge as the No. 1 seed under the new playoff schedule: the Ravens opponent is a TBD until late Monday night.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said the staff put together game plans for two teams. As the top seed in the AFC, Baltimore matches up with the lowest remaining seed at the completion of all wild-card games.

First, the Houston Texans, who throttled the Cleveland Browns on Saturday afternoon, and highly familiar No. 7 seed Steelers knowing Pittsburgh beating Buffalo would bring the AFC North rival back to Baltimore for the second time in three weeks.

“Since Houston (won), we have been dialed in on Houston since the end of that game,” Harbaugh said. “Until about 7:30 tonight, we’ll see if we have to pivot to Pittsburgh.”

There is loose familiarity with the Texans from the Ravens’ 25-9 victory in Week 1, the first game of quarterback C.J. Stroud’s career.

The Ravens are also peeking ahead at potential AFC opponents on the periphery with the conference championship in the back of their minds. They’ve done “preliminary work and analytics” on all remaining teams.

“We will look at the two teams playing in the other divisional game this week, coaches and staff that are assigned those jobs, and we’ll have all that information organized if we have an opportunity to play those guys,” Harbaugh said.

Moving parts were everywhere for the Ravens last week.

Offensive coordinator Todd Monken interviewed to be head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers. Monken and defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald interviewed with the Carolina Panthers, and Macdonald was among candidates to meet with the Tennessee Titans. Defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson interviewed to become defensive coordinator of the Giants.

Harbaugh, who has been in the position of an assistant coach prepping for an interview with other teams, wants all of his coaches back to tunnel vision.

“‘Lock in.’ That’s my advice, but they are. Those guys are locked in,” Harbaugh said. “They’re excited about where we’re going as a team, and I think they just take the opportunities as they come. These are preliminary-type interviews, get-to-know-each-other-type interviews. It’s great experience for those guys. I’m really happy for them, really proud of them.”

Ravens tight end Mark Andrews and cornerback Marlon Humphrey will be the critical injury concerns this week. Andrews did individual practice work for the first time on Friday and Harbaugh said it would be late in the week before the Ravens know where their three-time Pro Bowl target stands.

Andrews missed the final six games of the regular season and was thought to be out for the season with an ankle injury Nov. 16 against the Bengals. The Ravens opened his window to return to practice Jan. 12.

Humphrey is recovering from a calf injury, but Harbaugh said the Ravens are “optimistic” he will play this week.

The divisional playoff round could also mark the debut of running back Dalvin Cook, who signed with the Ravens after being released by the Jets. Quarterback Lamar Jackson couldn’t contain his grin last week when asked about his first workout with Cook, saying, “I’m really excited.”

Whether Cook is active on game day remains a decision the coaching staff plans to discuss later in the week.

“We’ll just look at it and say from a game-plan standpoint, what makes our team the strongest at this particular time based on what we’re going to try to do offensively,” Harbaugh said.

–Field Level Media

Sep 17, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) hands off to running back Dalvin Cook (33) in the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Ravens to sign RB Dalvin Cook for playoffs

New York Jets castoff running back Dalvin Cook plans to join the Baltimore Ravens for the playoffs.

Cook’s agents at LAA confirmed the deal to multiple outlets on Thursday.

Gus Edwards emerged as the Ravens’ lead running back this season when injuries hit Baltimore’s backfield hard yet again. Quarterback Lamar Jackson is the team’s leading rusher with 821 yards. Edwards has 762 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Ravens running backs Keaton Mitchell and J.K. Dobbins are on injured reserve after playing major roles when healthy.

Cook was released earlier this week by the Jets, who signed the four-time Pro Bowler with the Vikings to a one-year deal in August. Cook, 28, was released late in the season in hopes of joining a Super Bowl contender before the playoffs. The Ravens are the No. 1 seed in the AFC and after playing the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday, won’t play another game until Jan. 19 or 20 in the AFC Divisional Playoffs.

He signed for $5.8 million after meeting with Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Cook had 67 rushing attempts for 214 yards this season and added 15 receptions for 78 yards over 15 games (one start). He did not score a touchdown.

In 88 career games (73 starts) for the Minnesota Vikings (2017-22) and Jets, Cook has rushed for 6,207 yards and 47 touchdowns and caught 236 passes for 1,872 yards and five TDs.

Cook had interest this summer from the Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys after being released by Minnesota.

–Field Level Media

Jan 2, 2022; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) tries to break a tackle by Green Bay Packers linebacker Krys Barnes (51) in the first quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

New Jets RB Dalvin Cook sees ‘something special’ in NY

New Jets running back Dalvin Cook turned down a chance to play near his home and teamed up with former division rival Aaron Rodgers for a chance to win big in New York.

“Being on the other side the last six years, I couldn’t be on the other side anymore,” Cook said with a laugh of being a teammate of Rodgers after battling him in the NFC North.

Cook was released by the Minnesota Vikings and Rodgers was traded to the Jets from the Green Bay Packers.

“When I came on my visit, I think I saw everything I needed to see. I think I can come help these guys,” Cook said Thursday after his first full practice with the team. “When you look at the running back room with M.C. (Michael Carter), Breece (Hall), Bam (Zonovan Knight) and all those guys, with me just adding to it, I think it could be something special.”

Rodgers said Wednesday the offensive line was “a work in progress,” noting the “beauty and struggle” is finding continuity up front.

“You’ve got to run the ball to win in this league. You need multiple guys to get it done,” Rodgers said. “He made it well known to me in the process he wanted to play with me, come to Jersey.”

Cook, 28, visited with the Jets last month and showed interest in the Miami Dolphins. He was linked to yet another AFC East team, the New England Patriots, who wound up signing free agent running back Ezekiel Elliott.

Cook was slated to earn $11 million in 2023 with Minnesota, where he rushed for 5,024 yards and 43 touchdowns the past four seasons.

In 73 career games (72 starts) since the Vikings drafted him in the second round in 2017, Cook has 5,993 rushing yards, 47 rushing touchdowns, 221 receptions, 1,794 receiving yards and five TD catches.

He is coming off surgery on Feb. 14, the latest in a series of major shoulder issues that include a dislocated shoulder and torn labrum.

–Field Level Media

Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) during warmups before a wild card game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Free agent RB Dalvin Cook on Miami rumors: ‘I declined visit’

Free agent running back Dalvin Cook dispelled reports he was near a deal with the Miami Dolphins on Wednesday, saying he declined a visit with the team.

Cook responded to reports he was offered a deal with the Dolphins via Twitter.

“I declined a visit so you know my guy,” Cook wrote in response to Pat McAfee hinting at the connection.

Cook said last week he would be a “perfect fit” in Miami after being released by the Minnesota Vikings on June 9. The four-time Pro Bowl selection reportedly has multiple offers from interested teams.

Miami’s AFC East rivals, the New York Jets and New England Patriots, are among the teams reportedly interested in landing Cook.

Cook had shoulder surgery on Feb. 14, the latest in a series of major shoulder issues that include a dislocated shoulder and torn labrum.

He was scheduled to earn $11 million in 2023 with the Vikings. Cook rushed for 5,024 yards and scored 43 touchdowns the past four seasons.

The 27-year-old is a Miami native and played at Florida State.

–Field Level Media

Jan 8, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) runs the ball during the first quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

RB Dalvin Cook hits open market after Vikings release

The Minnesota Vikings officially released running back Dalvin Cook on Friday after an unsuccessful last-ditch effort to trade the four-time Pro Bowl selection.

Coming off four straight 1,000-yard seasons, Cook is now free to sign with any other team after 4:01 p.m. ET on Friday.

Cook had $2 million guaranteed remaining on his contract with the Vikings, who will take a $5.1 million dead cap hit this season.

A second-round pick in 2017, Cook rushed for 5,993 yards and 47 touchdowns and added 221 receptions for 1,794 yards and five scores in 73 career games (72 starts) in Minnesota.

“I hold Dalvin in the highest regard and am grateful for his contributions on and off the field. Dalvin is a tough, dynamic player and a respected leader by his teammates, which was evident by his multiple seasons as a team captain,” Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell said.

“… We appreciate Dalvin’s positivity, energy and leadership and will be pulling for him in the future.”

Rumored landing spots for Cook during the past couple of months have included the Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills and Denver Broncos.

Cook, who turns 28 in August, is recovering from offseason surgery to repair a shoulder injury that was originally sustained in 2019. His agency said in February that Cook is expected to be healthy for the start of the season.

The Vikings appear prepared to enter the 2023 season with Alexander Mattison as their lead back. The 2019 third-round pick rushed for 283 yards and five scores in 17 games last season. Ty Chandler and rookie DeWayne McBride are also on the depth chart.

Cook leaves Minnesota ranked third on the franchise rushing list behind Adrian Peterson and Robert Smith.

“Dalvin has been an incredible leader for this organization for years, and I quickly noticed how respected he is among everyone in our building,” general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said. “I’m fortunate to have been around such an enjoyable, talented and hardworking person like him over the last year.

“He’s etched his name in Vikings history with his production on the field but also by consistently giving back to the Vikings Foundation. We are thankful for everything Dalvin brought to the Vikings and sincerely wish him all the best in his future.”

Vikings owner and chairman Zygi Wilf also released a statement following Cook’s release.

“Over the past six years, Dalvin has meant so much to our organization. His love for playing football in front of the Vikings fan base was evident, and that connection branched into the community where he made an impact around the Twin Cities,” Wilf said. “Dalvin helped us launch the Vikings Table food truck and was a constant advocate for the Minnesota Vikings Foundation. His leadership in the locker room and all-out effort on the field was undeniable and a key reason he was a multi-year team captain. We are extremely grateful for all Dalvin has done for the Vikings and look forward to welcoming him back as a Legend.”

–Field Level Media=

Jan 8, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) runs the ball during the first quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

Dalvin Cook Next Team Odds: Eagles, Bills eyeing Vikings RB?

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook is among several prominent veteran players who could reportedly be moved ahead of — or during — this week’s NFL draft.

Cook has posted four consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons while compiling 46 total touchdowns and doesn’t turn 28 until August. However, he also carries a salary cap hit of $14.1 million this season, $15.6 million in 2024 and $13.5 million in the last year of his contract in 2025.

That has led to speculation that the Vikings might be open to parting ways with their second-round pick from 2017.

If so, there would be several contenders interested in landing the four-time Pro Bowl selection.

The Philadelphia Eagles have been installed as the +300 favorite by should the Vikings deal Cook. Whether Minnesota would trade him to the reigning NFC champions is a big question mark, but Philadelphia certainly has a pressing need in the backfield.

After Miles Sanders signed with Carolina in free agency, the Eagles added oft-injured former Seattle Seahawks first-round pick Rashaad Penny to a backfield that also includes Kenneth Gainwell, Boston Scott and Trey Sermon.

Philadelphia has also been tied to rumors about Titans star Derrick Henry and disgruntled Chargers running back Austin Ekeler, along with free agents Kareem Hunt and Leonard Fournette.

Buffalo is another intriguing potential destination for Cook. The Bills added former Patriots running back Damien Harris in free agency and are excited about the potential of 2022 second-round speedster James Cook.

Cook could provide a physical workhorse to complement his younger brother in New England, and the Vikings wouldn’t have to be concerned about fortifying an NFC rival.

Buffalo is being offered at +400 by to acquire Cook, the same odds as the Denver Broncos and Miami Dolphins.

With Javonte Williams recovering from ACL surgery, the Broncos signed Samaje Perine in free agency. They’re expected to add at least one running back in the draft, but they don’t have a lot of capital to part with in exchange for a proven veteran back.

Although none are as dynamic as Cook, the Dolphins do have a deep backfield of quality veterans that includes Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson Jr., Salvon Ahmed and Myles Gaskin.

Philadelphia Eagles (+300)
Buffalo Bills (+400)
Denver Broncos (+400)
Miami Dolphins (+400)
Dallas Cowboys (+700)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+700)
Baltimore Ravens (+900)
Chicago Bears (+1000)
Cincinnati Bengals (+1400)
Los Angeles Rams (+1400)
New Orleans Saints (+1400)
*If not Vikings

Cook is recovering from offseason surgery to repair a shoulder injury that was originally suffered in 2019. His agency said in February that Cook is expected to be healthy for the start of the season.

Through his first six NFL seasons, Cook has rushed for 5,993 yards and 47 touchdowns and caught 221 passes for 1,794 yards and five scores in 73 games (72 starts).

–Field Level Media

Sep 25, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) runs the ball as Detroit Lions linebacker Alex Anzalone (34) and cornerback Amani Oruwariye (24) pursue during the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings RB Dalvin Cook day-to-day with shoulder injury

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook is day-to-day with a shoulder injury, head coach Kevin O’Connell said Monday.

Cook lost a fumble after a 2-yard gain late in the third quarter and immediately went to the sideline medical tent, where he was ruled out for the rest of the game.

Alexander Mattison had seven carries for 28 yards and a touchdown as Cook’s replacement, but all signs point to Minnesota having Cook for Week 4 when the Vikings (2-1) face the New Orleans Saints (1-2).

“I asked him how he was doing, and he said, ‘I’ll be out there next week.’ We’ll do what’s best for Dalvin and make sure (the medical staff) make those decisions,” O’Connell said.

Cook, 27, finished with 17 carries for 96 yards and a touchdown. He gained 107 yards on 26 carries in the first two games in O’Connell’s new offensive scheme.

A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Cook ran for more than 1,000 yards in each of the past three seasons. He passed the 5,000-yard rushing milestone for his career (5,023) in the win against Detroit.

–Field Level Media

Nov 28, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) carries the ball agasint San Francisco 49ers safety Jaquiski Tartt (3) during the second quarter at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings RB Dalvin Cook (shoulder) carted off field vs. Niners

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook was carted off the field with a shoulder injury late in the third quarter of Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Cook sat upright on the cart but looked sullen as the cart carried him toward the locker room. He sustained his injury after absorbing a big hit from 49ers defensive lineman Kevin Givens.

Cook clutched the left side of his chest after the hit and remained on the ground for several minutes as medical personnel and teammates surrounded him. He fumbled the ball on the hit.

Cook gained 39 yards on 10 rushes and caught six passes for 64 yards before departing the contest.

The 26-year-old entered Sunday with 734 rushing yards and four touchdowns in eight games. He has surpassed 1,100 rushing yards in each of the two previous seasons.

–Field Level Media

Sep 19, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) runs with the ball against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings RB Dalvin Cook (ankle) kept on ice Thursday

Vikings running back Dalvin Cook was unable to practice for the second consecutive day Thursday due to an ankle injury.

But head coach Mike Zimmer expects Cook to gut it out Sunday, when Minnesota (0-2) welcomes the Seattle Seahawks (1-1).

Cook gained 131 yards on the ground last week at Arizona before he sprained his ankle on a tackle by Cardinals star J.J. Watt.

Zimmer said Cook would “get a little bit of work” at practice this week and will likely play Sunday. Zimmer called Cook’s sprain a “little ankle injury.”

If Cook can’t play, Alexander Mattison would get the call. He has four carries for 13 yards this season.

“At this stage, it’s time to get some wins,” Zimmer said. “Dalvin’s a tough guy. If he can’t play, there’s a reason why he’s not playing. But he makes us go, so we’re going to continue to play him.”

Cook was the only Vikings player not to participate in practice Wednesday and Thursday.

–Field Level Media

Dec 30, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer and running back Dalvin Cook (33) meet before the game against Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Zimmer: Vikings RB Cook likely to play vs. Packers

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook will practice Wednesday and is expected to play this week in an NFC North game against the host Green Bay Packers.

Cook didn’t play in Week 6 due to a groin injury and the Vikings were on bye last week.

Head coach Mike Zimmer said Wednesday morning that Cook would be on the practice field later that day, putting him on schedule to play this weekend.

Cook has 489 rushing yards and seven touchdowns in five games.

In Week 1, Cook had two touchdowns but finished with 12 carries for 50 yards in a lopsided loss to the Packers. The Vikings were forced into a pass-happy approach most of the final three quarters of the game.

–Field Level Media