Dalvin Cook: You have to do things a little smarter in 17-game season

Vikings running back Dalvin Cook missed the last week of the 2020 season after the death of his father and that meant he didn’t get a shot at hitting 2,000 scrimmage yards for the first time in his career.

Cook finished with 1,918 yards on the year and he will get an extra game in 2021 to try to hit that milestone. He’ll have to stay healthy to do it and Cook discussed how he’s approaching the 17-game season when he spoke to reporters from the team’s facility on Wednesday.

“It’s hitting the weight room a little bit harder,” Cook said, via Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. “It’s doing the little things a little more. . . . It’s a longer season for everybody, so you have to do things a little smarter, you got to train a little harder. I think that’s going to be the key: Who takes care of their body the best. I’ve been setting myself up pretty good and putting good people around me to take care of my body.”

The Vikings signed Cook to a five-year extension last September, so they think he’s a good bet to keep producing the way he did last season. Using this offseason’s work to reach new statistical heights would be a great way to kick off the new deal.