NFL leading rusher Dalvin Cook will sit out Minnesota's game on Sunday against Atlanta because of a groin injury, giving Alexander Mattison the opportunity for his first career start at running back.
The Vikings also announced Friday that right guard Dru Samia (wrist), cornerback Kris Boyd (hamstring) and wide receiver/kick returner K.J. Osborn (hamstring) were ruled out for the game. Cornerback Holton Hill (foot) was listed as doubtful to face the Falcons.
The Vikings have their bye scheduled for next week, so Cook's absence was likely after getting hurt in the second half last week at Seattle. Mattison rushed for a career-high 112 yards in relief.
Samia has started the last four games for Pat Elflein, who is on injured reserve with a thumb injury. His absence will likely pave the way for second-round draft pick Ezra Cleveland to make his debut in the lineup on Sunday.
Mayfield sharp; Beckham Jr. still out
Baker Mayfield finally fired some passes on Friday — none to Odell Beckham Jr.
Beckham missed another practice with the Browns due to COVID-19 protocols, but Mayfield, who has been slowed this week by sore ribs, appears ready to play in Sunday's hyped AFC North matchup against the unbeaten Pittsburgh Steelers.
Beckham's status remains uncertain after Cleveland's star wide receiver was kept away from the team's facility for the second straight day. He was sent home feeling ill on Thursday.
Beckham tested negative for coronavirus on Friday, but per league guidelines, he can't rejoin his teammates and practice until he has a second negative COVID test within a 24-hour period. The team listed him as questionable for the matchup against the Steelers (4-0).
Coach Kevin Stefanski offered few details about Beckham other than saying he's improving and that he'll play Sunday — if cleared.
“He is doing better, yes,” said Stefanski, noting that Beckham has taken part in Zoom meetings. ”If all goes according to plan for tomorrow, you spend even more time and you spend even more walk-through time. I think there is enough time to catch him up, barring his health.”
Mayfield looked good throwing passes during the portion of the workout open to media members. He's been dealing with an injured right side sustained against the Colts, but Stefanski said his quarterback “is trending in the right direction.”
"Like we have been saying all along, he is improving every day,” Stefanski said.
Lions' Trufant out, TE Bryant on IR
The Detroit Lions have ruled out cornerback Desmond Trufant for Sunday's game at Jacksonville and have put tight end Hunter Bryant on injured reserve.
Trufant is out with a hamstring injury. Bryant has dealt with hamstring and concussion issues.
The Lions, who are coming off their open date, could really use a victory after dropping three of their first four games. Running back Adrian Peterson (illness) was a full participant in practice Friday.
Packers getting healthy
Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur says wide receiver Davante Adams and defensive tackle Kenny Clark will be “ready to go” Sunday at Tampa Bay after both players missed multiple games with injuries.
Packers cornerback Kevin King’s status for the Buccaneers game is much less certain as he deals with a quadriceps injury. King was a limited participant in Friday's practice after not practicing at all Wednesday or Thursday.
“We’ll go back and watch the tape, and talk to Kevin, see how he’s feeling tomorrow, and just kind of give him up till game time to see if he can go or not,” LaFleur said Friday. “That’s ultimately a decision that we’ll make as an organization, though, because we don’t want to put him at risk.”
Clark signed a four-year, $70 million extension during the first day of training camp after earning his first trip to the Pro Bowl last season. But he injured his groin in a season-opening victory at Minnesota and hasn’t played since.
Adams caught 14 passes in the season opener to tie Hall of Famer Don Hutson’s 78-year-old team single-game record, but the three-time Pro Bowl selection injured his hamstring the following week against Detroit and has missed the Packers’ last two games.
Bigger workload for Jets RB Perine
La'Mical Perine was drafted in April to be the New York Jets' running back of the future.
Well, that might be right now. And a bit sooner than many probably expected.
“I’m excited,” Perine said this week. “I’m not going to sit here and lie like I’m not excited. I don't want to get too excited. ... I just want to keep my composure and be able to go out there and focus and play hard.”
The Jets' jammed-up backfield got a little less crowded Tuesday night when Le'Veon Bell was released after a disappointing stint that lasted just 19 months. So, New York now has Perine, a fourth-round pick out of Florida; 37-year-old Frank Gore; and Ty Johnson on the active roster, with Josh Adams also on the practice squad.
But, the carries might start to shift more toward Perine when the 0-5 Jets take on the AFC East-rival Dolphins in Miami on Sunday.
Perine hasn't been much of a factor yet. He saw no snaps on offense against Arizona last Sunday, and has just 15 carries for 56 yards and two catches for minus-1 yard through five games.
Garrett not sure if he'll approach Rudolph
Myles Garrett's first chance to clear the air on a football field with the Steelers' Mason Rudolph comes Sunday at Heinz Field.
But the Browns Pro Bowl defensive end said Friday he hasn't thought about whether he'll approach Rudolph during warmups as the two face each other for the first time since Nov. 14, when Garrett hit the quarterback over the head with his own helmet in the waning seconds of a Browns' home victory.
Garrett drew a six-game suspension for the incident that sparked a melee, ending Garrett's season.
"Haven't thought about it. Focused on how I'm going to get to Ben," Garrett said in regards to Steelers starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger during a Zoom call. "I'll cross that bridge when I come to it, whether that's down the road or whenever we see each other. I'm focused on the game plan and getting a win and that comes secondary."
Rudolph has not played this year as he backs up Roethlisberger.
Ravens, Washington allow fans
Maryland will allow up to 10% capacity at the two stadiums in the state that are home to NFL teams, Gov. Larry Hogan said Friday, meaning several thousand fans could attend games.
The announcement affects M&T Bank Stadium, where the Baltimore Ravens play, and FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, where the Washington Football Team plays.
M&T Bank Stadium has a total capacity of 71,008 and FedEx Field has a capacity of 82,000.
Neither team plays at home this weekend. The next home game for the Ravens is Nov. 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The next home game for Washington is Oct. 25 against the Dallas Cowboys.
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