Minnesota Vikings tailback Dalvin Cook and Alvin Kamara of the New Orleans Saints are the only two players in the NFL to tally 1,300+ yards from scrimmage in each of the last three seasons.
And while that feat may be a struggle for both men to again replicate in 2022, the forecast for Cook from oddsmakers suggests he could cross the 1,300-yard mark once again.
BetOnline.ag released running back prop-bet odds this week, and Cook is projected to notch 1,100 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns.
The sportsbook didn’t elaborate on receiving yards, but Cook tabulating 200+ receiving yards shouldn’t be a herculean task. Cook has registered north of 200 receiving yards in each of the last four seasons.
Cook, who turns 27 next month, figures to be the Vikings bellcow RB yet again in 2022, but the offense will look different this time around. Minnesota fired head coach Mike Zimmer six months ago after back-to-back losing seasons, hiring Kevin O’Connell from the Los Angeles Rams. O’Connell and the Rams were triumphant over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI.
But O’Connell won’t bring a “run-first” style to Minnesota as that scheme is scheduled to fade with the departure of Zimmer. For eight seasons, Zimmer preferred a style of football that embraced defense and running as the first offensive option. The Rams, on the other hand, threw the football much more frequently in early-down situations.
Accordingly, Cook was featured, at times, as a wide receiver at Vikings minicamp in June. Back in 2019, when former offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski was in charge of the Vikings offense, Cook caught 53 passes for 519 receiving yards. But Minnesota strayed away from that attribute of Cook’s under Gary and Klint Kubiak in 2020 and 2021.
A pass-catching Cook could be back on the docket now, though. Otherwise, the spring fodder about Cook as a receiver was all misdirection — with Cook personally in on the ruse. In May, Cook tweeted a teaser of sorts, showing a reception from the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in December.
Cook is under contract with the Vikings through the end of the 2025 season and is the fourth highest-paid running back in the NFL. However, there is a potential opt-out for Cook or the Vikings after the upcoming 2022 season.
Per BetOnline, Cook has third-best odds to lead the NFL in rushing yards (+1,000) behind Jonathan Taylor and Derrick Henry.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).