Allen Park — The Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions are both looking like they’ll be without their star running backs for Sunday’s NFC North matchup.
Vikings starter Dalvin Cook, a Pro Bowler each of the past two seasons, was knocked from this past weekend’s game against the San Francisco 49ers with a shoulder injury. According to multiple reports, he suffered a torn labrum and dislocated shoulder and will miss multiple weeks.
Prior to the injury, Cook had amassed 975 yards from scrimmage in nine games, averaging 4.5 yards per carry and scoring four times. He also missed the matchup with the Lions earlier in the season due to an ankle injury.
In that game, a 19-17 Vikings win, backup Alexander Mattison rushed for a career-high 113 yards on 25 carries, while chipping in another 40 yards and a touchdown on seven catches.
As for the Lions, the team figures to be without D’Andre Swift, who is also nursing a shoulder injury.
“He’s pretty sore and so, right now, I would say it’s hard to say you’d see him playing (Sunday),” Lions coach Dan Campbell said. “There again, we’ll know a lot more on how he feels (Tuesday) and certainly Wednesday, but I know he’s hurting a little bit.”
Swift had been playing some of the best football of his young career prior to the injury, setting personal, single-game rushing marks in back-to-back weeks. He had 130 yards in the team’s 16-16 tie against Pittsburgh, followed by 136 yards in a 13-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns.
Swift exited Detroit’s Thanksgiving game against Chicago in the first half after he was ridden to the ground near the sideline by Bears linebacker Roquan Smith. Swift eventually was ruled out with the shoulder, aggravating an injury he initially suffered against Pittsburgh.
For the year, Swift has tallied 984 yards and six touchdowns from scrimmage. He leads all running backs with 56 receptions.
With Swift out, Jamaal Williams figures to shoulder the bulk of the backfield load for the Lions, with Godwin Igwebuike and rookie Jermar Jefferson providing supplemental support.