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EAGAN, Minn. — The 2019 finale of Monday Night Football will include one of the best rivalries in the NFL.

The Vikings and Packers will play in Border Battle No. 119 in Week 16, as the teams square off in prime time on Monday night. Kickoff is at 7:15 p.m. (CT).

Minnesota is 10-4 following a convincing 39-10 win over the Los Angeles Chargers in which the Vikings defense forced a season-high seven takeaways. The Vikings would be a Wild Card team if the season ended today.

Green Bay leads the NFC North at 11-3 and can clinch the division with a win. The Packers have already clinched a playoff berth.

The Vikings need to win their final two games and have the Packers lose out in order to claim the NFC North.

Minnesota can clinch a playoff spot with a win Monday but would also be in with a 49ers win over the Rams on Saturday night.

Here’s a look at the Vikings Week 16 matchup against the Packers:

Passing: Kirk Cousins and Aaron Rodgers put up similar numbers in Week 15 as both quarterbacks led their team to a win.

Cousins completed 19 of 25 passes (76 percent) for 207 yards with a touchdown and an interception for a passer rating of 96.6.

Cousins has now completed 291 of 413 passes (70.5 percent) for 3,481 yards with 25 touchdowns and five interceptions. His passer rating of 111.1 ranks third in the NFL.

Rodgers, meanwhile, completed 16 of 33 passes (48.5 percent) for 203 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. His passer rating was 78.2.

Rodgers has now completed 300 of 474 passes (63.3 percent) for 3,463 yards with 24 touchdowns and two interceptions. His passer rating of 100.4 is tied for ninth in the NFL.

Rodgers is 12-8-1 in 21 career regular-season starts against the Vikings.

Rushing: The Vikings ran for 137 yards against the Chargers but lost running back Dalvin Cook in the third quarter with a shoulder injury.

Cook, who ran for 27 yards on nine carries, was replaced by Mike Boone, who excelled in that role with 56 yards and his first two career scores on 13 carries.

Ameer Abdullah had 25 yards on five carries. The Vikings were also without rookie Alexander Mattison, who missed the game with an ankle injury.

Cook leads the Vikings with 1,135 rushing yards and 13 scores. Minnesota ranks fourth in the NFL with 135.9 rushing yards per game.

Green Bay ranks 17th in the NFL with 106.6 rushing yards per game.

Aaron Jones had 51 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. Jamaal Williams added 26 yards on eight attempts.

Jones has a team-high 830 rushing yards and is tied for the league lead with 14 rushing touchdowns.

Receiving: Stefon Diggs set a new career-high Sunday, as he had four receptions for 76 yards to surpass the 1,000-yard mark.

Diggs now has a personal-best 1,073 receiving yards on 60 catches. He also has five scores.

Kyle Rudolph (48 yards), Adam Thielen (27 yards), Cook (16 yards) and C.J. Ham (13 yards) each had three catches on Sunday. Rookie Irv Smith, Jr., had two catches for eight yards, including a 1-yard touchdown.

Cook has 53 catches for 519 yards, while Rudolph has 38 receptions for 360 yards and is tied with Thielen with six touchdowns. Thielen, who made his return from a hamstring injury, has 30 catches for 418 yards in nine games in 2019.

Davante Adams had seven catches for 103 yards and a score to lead the Packers with more than half of their receiving total.

Jake Kumerow had a 49-yard catch, while Geronimo Allison (19 yards) and Allen Lazard (14 yards) each had two catches.

Adams leads Green Bay with 63 catches for 788 yards, and he has four scores. Williams has a team-high five touchdown catches, while Jones and tight end Jimmy Graham have three scores apiece.

Defense: The Vikings defense was dominant Sunday, forcing a whopping seven turnovers, the most in a game since 1994.

Danielle Hunter had two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery, while Harrison Smith had an interception and a fumble recovery. Shamar Stephen and Eric Kendricks forced fumbles, and Ifeadi Odenigbo and Trae Waynes had fumble recoveries.

Odenigbo picked up his fumble and raced 56 yards for his first-career score.

Mike Hughes’ first pick of the season was turnover No. 6, and Anthony Harris capped off the wild day with another interception.

Minnesota is now plus-11 in turnovers, tied for the fourth-best in the league. The Vikings allowed 345 total yards and recorded three sacks by Hunter, Odenigbo and Jaleel Johnson.

Hunter leads the Vikings with 13.5 sacks in 2019, while Harris leads the Vikings with five interceptions.

The Vikings are now 14th with 338.9 yards allowed per game and are tied for sixth in points allowed at 18.5.

Green Bay has allowed 371.3 yards per game, which ranks 23rd. The unit’s 20.2 points allowed per game ranks ninth.

The Packers allowed 415 yards but just 13 points to Chicago at home. Dean Lowry and Jaire Alexander had interceptions for Green Bay, which sacked Mitchell Trubisky three times.

Preston Smith has a team-high 11.5 sacks for the Packers, while Za’Darius Smith has 10 sacks.

Vikings Roster in Photos
View photos of the Vikings 53-man roster for the 2019 season.

Special teams: The Vikings had a mostly solid day on special teams in getting their 10th win.

Dan Bailey missed his first extra-point attempt but made the next two. He was also true on four field goals of 26, 44, 38 and 27 yards. Bailey is now 22 of 24 on field goals (91.2 percent) and 38 of 42 on extra points in 2019.

Vikings punter Britton Colquitt averaged 51.5 yards on two punts and did not record a touchback. He has averaged 44.2 yards per punt this season.

Vikings linebacker Eric Wilson also came up with a big special teams play in the second half when he tipped a punt a play after the grounding penalty. Wilson doesn’t get credit for a block on the play because the ball traveled 26 yards before landing at the L.A. 41.

Mason Crosby made all three extra points Sunday. He is now 16 of 17 on field goals (94.1 percent) and 38 of 38 on extra points in 2019.

Packers punter J.K. Scott averaged 35.7 yards on seven punts, with two of them landing inside the 20-yard line. Scott averages 43.7 yards per punt.

Neither team has a kickoff or punt return for a touchdown in 2019.

A quick glance

Here is the NFC playoff picture as of Monday morning:

1. Seattle (11-3)

2. Green Bay (11-3)

3. New Orleans (10-3)

4. Dallas (7-7)

5. San Francisco (11-3)

6. Minnesota (10-4)

The Saints play on Monday Night Football against the Colts to wrap up Week 15.

The Rams are still in the Wild Card hunt at 8-6. Los Angeles would get in if the Rams win out and the Vikings lose out.

Key games in the NFC playoff field in Week 16 include the following:

-Rams at 49ers (Saturday)

-Cowboys at Eagles

-Saints at Titans

-Cardinals at Seahawks

-Packers at Vikings (Monday)

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MINNEAPOLIS — If the Vikings are to make a deep run in the NFC Playoffs, they will have to do so on the road.

Minnesota’s bid for an undefeated 2019 campaign at home come to a close Monday night, as Green Bay earned a 23-10 win in Week 16.

The Vikings, who are now 10-5, are locked into the sixth seed — the NFC’s second and final Wild Card spot. Minnesota would have been the fifth seed, and play at the winner of the NFC East, by winning their final two games.

The Vikings clinched a playoff spot Saturday night with a Rams loss to the 49ers.

Green Bay clinched the NFC North and moved to 12-3 with its win. The Packers also snapped a three-game losing streak at U.S. Bank Stadium with their first ever victory at the venue that opened in 2016.

The Vikings close out the regular season at home in Week 17 against the Bears.

Here are four more takeaways from Monday night:

1. A missed opportunity

Stefon Diggs wants his first NFL pass attempt back.

The Vikings faced third-and-4 at the Packers 42-yard line with just under three minutes left in the second quarter.

Minnesota ran a toss to the left with Mike Boone, only to have the running back pitch the ball to Diggs on a reverse … with a wide-open Kirk Cousins streaking down the right sideline.

Diggs misfired on the pass and shouldered the blame after the game.

“Terrible pass … [Cousins] did a great job. I should have set my feet,” Diggs said. “Good play call. If I could go back in time right now, I’d probably run [the play] again.

“It was a great play call. It was wide open, I just missed the throw,” Diggs added.

2. Loss of linebackers

The Vikings linebackers depth took a massive hit Monday night, as both Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr left the game with injuries.

Kendricks was injured late in the second quarter on a play where he recovered a fumble forced by Harrison Smith. The linebacker picked up the ball near midfield but gingerly attempted a return.

It was announced that Kendricks, who had two fumble recoveries on the night, suffered a quad injury.

Barr left the game a little more that midway through the fourth quarter with a knee injury. He was injured on an 18-yard pass by the Packers.

On the ensuing play without the linebacker who makes the defensive play calls, Green Bay ripped off a 56-yard touchdown run to go ahead by double digits.

Eric Wilson, Kentrell Brothers and Cam Smith stepped in for the duo, with Wilson relaying the defensive calls.

3. No answer for Adams

Davante Adams didn’t score a touchdown Monday night, be he produced a big game against the Vikings secondary.

The Packers wide receiver tied his career high with 13 catches, and racked up 116 yards on Monday Night Football.

Adams produced a pair of big games against the Vikings in 2019, as he tallied 20 receptions for 220 yards in a pair of Packers wins.

View game action images as the Vikings take on the Packers on Monday Night Football.

4. Cousins under pressure

The Vikings offense gained a season-low 139 yards Monday, a stat that wasn’t helped by the fact that Cousins was sacked five times.

Minnesota had allowed just eight sacks in its past six games before the Vikings offensive line was under siege against the Packers.

The Vikings allowed four of the five sacks in the second half as Cousins dropped back to pass 22 times after halftime.

Minnesota’s offensive line has played well in wins, allowing just 15 sacks in 10 Vikings victories in 2019. But the unit has given up 13 sacks in five losses, including a combined 11 sacks in division losses to Chicago and Green Bay.

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We’ve gotten the second injury report of the week for the Minnesota Vikings as they prepare for their Wild Card weekend matchup against the New Orleans Saints at the Superdome, and it’s a bit of a mixed bag.

We’ll go through it here in a bit, but for now here is the full report from today’s session:

Did Not Practice
CB Mackensie Alexander (knee)
S Andrew Sendejo (illness)
DE Stephen Weatherly (illness)
Limited Participation
CB Mike Hughes (neck, downgrade from full)
LB Eric Kendricks (quad, upgrade from DNP)
DE Ifeadi Odenigbo (hamstring)
Full Participation
RB Dalvin Cook (shoulder)
S Jayron Kearse (foot)
RB Alexander Mattison (ankle)
CB Xavier Rhodes (ankle)
DT Shamar Stephen (knee)
A couple of big stories from this one, both involving guys who were limited in practice on Thursday.

The first one is that linebacker Eric Kendricks practiced for the first time since the lead-up to the Green Bay game on Thursday, as he took part in some individual drills. We’ll have to see if he continues to progress on Friday when the final report comes out.

Mike Hughes, on the other hand, was downgraded to limited after being a full participant on Wednesday. Hughes is dealing with a neck injury, and I’m not sure when he suffered that injury, exactly. With Mackensie Alexander continuing to sit out of practice with a knee issue and now Hughes dealing with this, the Vikings’ cornerback group suddenly looks even more suspect.

On the bright side, it doesn’t appear that the illness that Sendejo and Weatherly are dealing with has spread. . .yet.

(knocks firmly on nearest wooden object)

That’s your injury report for Thursday, folks. We’ll have the final injury report here for your perusal at around this time tomorrow.

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The Vikings got a key part of their defense on the practice field for the first time this week on Thursday.

Linebacker Eric Kendricks has been sidelined by a quadricep injury of late, but multiple reports from the open portion of Thursday’s practice have him on the field for the first time since Week 16.

Kendricks played at least 86 percent of the team’s defensive snaps in every game until he was injured against the Packers. He had 110 tackles, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and 12 passes defended in his 15 starts.

Cornerback Mackensie Alexander (knee), safety Andrew Sendejo (illness) and defensive end Stephen Weatherly (illness) missed practice for the second straight day.

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For the past few weeks, the Minnesota Vikings have been making a push towards the NFC playoff bracket without the help of one of their top wide receivers.

With the way Kirk Cousins has been playing for the Minnesota Vikings during the team’s past few games, it’s easy to forget that he’s been doing it all despite not having Adam Thielen to throw to.

Thanks to a hamstring injury, Thielen hasn’t been on the field for more than 10 offensive snaps since the Vikings’ win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 6.

The hope was that he would be healthy enough to return last week when Minnesota took on the Seattle Seahawks. However, Thielen’s hamstring clearly wasn’t ready and the Vikings decided to also hold him out of Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions.

According to a recent report, however, it seems like Minnesota is looking at their upcoming matchup in Week 15 against the Los Angeles Chargers as the time in which Thielen will return to the field.

NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported on Sunday that the Vikings and their receiver are, “optimistic (Thielen) can be on the field,” next week in Los Angeles.

Hopefully, the Minnesota receiver is as close to full health as possible and his preparations for Week 15 don’t end up with him suffering another setback with his hamstring. The Vikings have two very important divisional matchups to close out the season coming up and they could certainly use Thielen’s help in these two games.

Should Minnesota attempt to have the veteran receiver return in Week 15 against a Chargers team that only has five wins this year? The Vikings could likely get a win in this matchup without Thielen, but if he’s healthy enough to play, he should be out on the field.

Minnesota doesn’t know what the future holds and their goal for now is to just make sure they come out with a win in each of their final three games of the season. Having Thielen back in the lineup would definitely make this goal much easier to achieve for the Vikings.

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A tennis ball flies through the air, followed closely behind by two streaks of white fur.

Gravel sprays from beneath their dogs’ paws as they race each other across the fenced-in play area.

A first glance might lead one to believe that the pups share a bloodline, but a closer look reveals distinct differences between the two.

There’s Orion, a Siberian Husky who struts a sleek build and has silvery-blue eyes and a majestic, curled tail.

Atlas, meanwhile, has dark brown eyes, the tell-tail (pun intended) backend of a German Shepherd and large ears that stand at attention.

Vikings defensive end Stephen Weatherly got both as puppies in Nashville, Tennessee, and chose their names based on his love for Greek mythology.

“Orion was first. I really liked the name; I used it in a project that I had in college for a line of mineral water,” Weatherly explained with a chuckle. “And then Atlas, same thing, Greek mythology.”

Purple Pups Photos: Stephen, Atlas & Orion Weatherly
View photos of Vikings DT Stephen Weatherly and his dogs Atlas and Orion who are featured in this segment of Purple Pups.

At the time of this interview, Weatherly had his eye on a white cat at a nearby shelter. Although it didn’t end up working out to adopt the feline, he already had a name picked out: Adonis. For the “trifecta,” he explained.

Maybe someday.

Weatherly points out that while their variances in appearance may be subtle, the contrast in personalities is much starker.

Orion loves to be the center of attention and shows off a craftier demeanor, according to his owner.

“He’s very mischievous, and he does things on purpose. He knows how to open doors,” Weatherly said. “He doesn’t get into anything unless he feels like he’s being disrespected. He’s very much that kind of guy.”

Weatherly first noticed Orion’s “evil-genius side” early on when he realized the puppy was feigning an injury.

“He would fake limps on walks so he wouldn’t have to walk anymore,” Weatherly laughed. “I thought I had hurt him because he was like 12 weeks and wouldn’t walk and started limping, and I’m like, ‘Oh my [gosh], I’ve over-walked him. This is a problem.’

“So I pick him up, I run inside … and poured some food into his bowl, hoping he would feel a little bit better, and he sprinted over to the bowl like everything was fine,” Weatherly continued. “So that was his M.O. Also when he was younger, if you ever [scolded] him and flicked your finger at him, not hitting him, but just flick your finger at him, he would immediately start wincing, like winking one eye like you blinded him, so that was also his way to get pity.”

And as for Atlas?

The younger dog is called “a big dummy” by Weatherly.

“But I love him for it,” the defensive end said. “He’s training to be a lap dog; he doesn’t understand personal space at all. He’ll crawl on the bed, he begs, drops his ears. He tries to get as small as possible, which is hilarious because he’s 85 pounds.

“But yeah, this is the evil genius right here, Orion, and Atlas is [his sidekick],” Weatherly added. “Do you remember Pinky and the Brain? Yeah, that’s Pinky, and this is the Brain.”

Both have learned various tricks – they will sit, lie down, shake and stand on their back legs on command – but only Orion takes after his “dad” in the athletic category.

“Atlas can’t catch unless you throw it directly at him,” Weatherly quipped, patting the German Shepherd on the head. “And then still it’s, like, 50-50.”

Continuing to compare the pair of pups, he pointed out that Orion is independent and “only loves me because he knows I control the food.” He explained that while Orion tends to toe the line and require more discipline, Atlas is truly a man’s best friend.

“German Shepherds, just love them unconditionally, and then they’ll love you back,” Weatherly said. “Atlas is a big, loveable protector.”

He recalled an experience in which he and his then-roommate, Vikings running back Ameer Abdullah, were rough-housing.

“Ameer and I were wrestling, and Atlas thought his father was being beat – which I was,” Weatherly admitted. “And Atlas jumped in and kind of nibbled on Ameer.”

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Interference.

“Nibbled? Nibbled?” Abdullah interjected good-naturedly.

“He gave him a love nip right behind his shoulder,” Weatherly countered.

“I’m probably going to get an infection, I don’t know,” Abdullah said. “And they shed, as you can see.”

He laughed and then added, “No, I love these dogs. They’re great dogs.”

Weatherly concurs.

Although he’s an animal lover in general – he’s been known to babysit turtles, Gnevieve and Gretchen, and enjoys his roommate’s bunny, Benny – he will always be the biggest fan of dogs.

“I had a dog growing up, and being an only child, I feel like that was like my brother in some regards,” Weatherly explained. “I’ve always just loved them. They’re always there. [Whether] I had a great day at practice or a horrible day at practice, they don’t know which one is which. They just love me the same.

“I always tell people that dogs are the only creatures capable of unconditional love,” he added.

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A winning day for students at Early Childhood Academy Public Charter School in Southeast.

“Everybody is getting coats that have been paid for,” said 7-year-old Trenton Lemons.

Look who’s at Early Childhood Academy Public Charter School in SE today! @Vikings player and Gaithersburg native Stefon Diggs is here giving out coats with @OperationWarm . His message to students tonight at 5.

“We thank Stefon Diggs because he gave us coats,” said second grader Jaiden Barrera.

The Minnesota Vikings wide receiver flew back to his hometown to distribute coats to children in need.

“Trying to take that load off of parents who might not have it or who might have it, still just want a little assistance. You know, I just try to do my part,” he said.

A winning day at Early Childhood Academy PCS in SE. “Everybody is getting coats!” said 7-year-old Trenton Lemons. “We thank @stefondiggs because he gave us coats,” said Jaiden Barrera. See the @Vikings player back in his hometown giving out coats & kindness tonight at 4.

More than 70-percent of students at the school are considered at risk and 100-percent qualify for free and reduced lunch.

“We’ve now made it a point to go into underserved areas, underserved schools primarily, and provide coats to these kids in need,” said Chefik Simo of Operation Warm.

The non-profit organization provided nearly 300 coats and the former University of Maryland player helped give them out.

That’s very good especially for people who are cold-natured like me,” said Lemons.

“Yes. So we won’t be sick and it’s cold outside,” said Barrera.

Diggs received sincere gratitude from students and offered them words of encouragement.

“Make sure that you are doing your homework so you can do well in school. I talked to somebody earlier and they said practice makes perfect, can everybody agree with that?”

His audience was in full agreement; happy to receive advice and assistance from a hometown hero.

Diggs lived in Waldorf, Laurel and Gaithersburg before playing football at Maryland and being drafted by the Vikings in 2015.

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When the Vikings made a roster move in October that led to a locker being open next to the one for linebacker Anthony Barr, rookie cornerback Kris Boyd swooped in and claimed it.

So, for the past two months, Boyd and Barr have been at adjacent lockers at the TCO Performance Center. The rookie said he learns something just about every day from the four-time Pro Bowl selection.

“I see him as a big brother to me,’’ Boyd said. “He kind of took me in when I got here.’’

Barr is in his sixth season with the Vikings and second as one of six team captains. Since becoming a captain last year, the soft-spoken Barr has sought to be even more of a leader.

After Boyd, 23, was selected in the seventh round of the draft out of Texas in April, he got to know Barr. The linebacker saw something in him.

“His personality is just kind of contagious,’’ said Barr, 27. “He’s got a very positive spirit, a positive vibe. He keeps things entertaining. It’s good to have a younger perspective around some older guys. He keeps things fresh and funky for us.’’

Barr certainly has a soft spot for Boyd. When he learned that Boyd had somehow been left out of receiving a present in a Christmas gift-giving exchange in the Vikings locker room, Barr stepped up and surprised him with a nifty Louis Vuitton bag.

“He was a little hurt on Christmas because I guess he didn’t get a gift, so I felt bad for him,’’ Barr said.

Barr also invited the rookie to join him at linebacker Eric Kendricks’ home on Christmas. Several other veterans also were there.

“It was really cool,’’ Boyd said of Barr presenting him with the Louis Vuitton bag. “I have it posted on Instagram.’’

Boyd has played mostly on special teams this season and has been very effective as a gunner on the punt team. He’s played just 47 snaps on defense, but could be in for more work Sunday when the Vikings (10-5), locked into the No. 6 NFC spot, face Chicago (7-8) at U.S. Bank Stadium a regular-season finale with no playoff implications.

Early in the season, when Boyd wasn’t playing much, Barr talked to him about not getting down.

“I was just trying to keep him calm, understand you know your time is going to come,’’ Barr said. “I told him that you’re a guy who’s going to have a long career in this league and just be patient and enjoy the process.’’

Boyd appreciates the advice he has gotten from Barr. That’s why when a locker opened next to Barr’s in October, he moved from across the room.

“He actually told me not to move, but he was just joking,’’ Boyd said. “We just have a connection. Now that I’m next to him, we chop it up every day.

“If I ever have any questions, he’ll give me tips and information. He’s always telling me to keep my head up and always stay ready.’’

Sunday’s game could provide a good opportunity for Boyd. He anticipates getting some snaps on defense.

“That’s how it’s looking right now,’’ he said. “It would be cool.’’

The Vikings like Boyd’s potential. Defensive coordinator George Edwards said he has continued to get better in practice throughout the season.

“Kris has a lot of speed,’’ Edwards said. “He can get in and out of a cut. The big thing is that schematically, I think this is his first time through.’’

Special teams coordinator Marwan Maalouf likes the aggressiveness Boyd has shown on special teams. He leads the unit in tackles.

On Dec. 8, Boyd had a big hit on Detroit’s Danny Amendola on a punt return. Barr was impressed with that play.

“I know the capability he has of being a good player in this league and just want to see him do well,’’ Barr said. “So I’ve got to stay on him.’’

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The Vikings have released Sunday’s list of inactives before the final game of the season at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Six of the team’s starters will not dress on Sunday as well as rookie running back Alexander Mattison.

Below is the list of Vikings players who will not suit up:

RB Alexander Mattison

RB Dalvin Cook

LB Eric Kendricks

LB Anthony Barr

T Riley Reiff

T Brian O’Neill

DT Shamar Stephen

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EAGAN, Minn. — Not many NFL teams can boast about how healthy they are come playoff time, so the situation in which the Minnesota Vikings find themselves — with all of their offensive starters in line to play the Saints in New Orleans on wild-card weekend — is a luxury.

Running back Dalvin Cook, who took a hit to his left shoulder/chest area that sidelined him for the final two games of the regular season, said he’ll be at full strength for Sunday’s game.

“I wouldn’t put a percentage on it,” Cook said. “If I were whatever percent, I’d be out there on Sunday. So I’m gonna be ready to go, I’m gonna be at full strength, and I’m looking forward to a good football game.”

For Cook, the time away the past two weeks allowed him to heal his injury enough that it won’t inhibit him on the field.

“I definitely feel refreshed,” Cook said.

It has been more than two months since the Vikings’ offense was at full strength. The last time Minnesota could tap into its wealth of skill players was Week 6 in a win over Philadelphia. The following week, wide receiver Adam Thielen went down with a hamstring injury in the first quarter at Detroit, and it took him until Week 15 to fully recover.

But as the Vikings got one player back, they lost another. Cook went down against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 15. He was a full participant at practice on Wednesday for the first time since the week leading into the Chargers game. Backup running back Alexander Mattison, who suffered a high right ankle sprain in Week 14, was also back on the practice field for the first time since early December.

With the NFC North in play against Green Bay and Cook and Mattison ruled out, the Vikings rushed for 57 yards as a team in a 23-10 loss. Having both players back entering a must-win situation might be exactly what this offense needs to get back on track amid a two-game losing skid.

“If I were whatever percent, I’d be out there on Sunday,” Dalvin Cook said. AP Photo/Mike Roemer
“It’s never a good feeling when you don’t have a complete team or don’t have all your guys out there,” Mattison said. “Even if it’s one guy or two guys or a handful of guys, that can make a big difference. Hopefully us being back is big.”

Added Cook: “We’ve got two different things going on, but I’ve been encouraging him [Mattison], and he’s been encouraging me. Being in the training room a lot, it can kind of take a toll on your mind and mess with your mental a little bit. I know Alex is a young guy, so I kind of push him through it and make sure he’s here every day. Alex has been doing a great job of getting on top of his rehab.”

Cook has reiterated that he’ll “be ready to go” throughout the week and said his status for the postseason has never been in doubt.

“There ain’t nothing that’s going to hold me out,” Cook said. “Just get healthy, get strong and get back on the field.”

Minnesota linebacker Eric Kendricks, who is dealing with an injury to his quad, did not practice Wednesday, nor did cornerback Mackensie Alexander (knee), safety Andrew Sendejo (illness) and defensive end Stephen Weatherly (illness).