Vikings RB Dalvin Cook inactive; T.J. Hockenson, Penei Sewell to play for Lions

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MINNEAPOLIS — Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell said the No. 1 priority for his defense this week was to stop the Minnesota Vikings running game — a job that got easier about 90 minutes before kickoff.

Top Vikings running back Dalvin Cook is inactive because of a sprained ankle that has hobbled him the past two weeks.

Cook missed two days of practice this week and was listed as questionable on the Vikings' Friday injury report. He missed a Week 3 win over the Seattle Seahawks, but returned in limited action in last week's 14-7 loss to the Cleveland Browns.

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Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff throws a touchdown pass to tight end T.J. Hockenson against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half at Ford Field in Detroit on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021.
Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff throws a touchdown pass to tight end T.J. Hockenson against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half at Ford Field in Detroit on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021.

Alexander Mattison, who has 145 yards rushing on 40 carries this season, is expected to start in Cook's absence.

"Everything is about Cook,” Campbell said this week. “And look, (Mattison) is no slouch either, now. That kid can run the ball. But the run game is, I really do believe that this team lives and dies by it. It all starts that way for them. If they can get in a rhythm — because once they’re able to run it out of a certain formation, set, look — then they’ve got two plays off of that and one of them is going to involve a shot play. So I really do believe the onus is on stopping him first."

Along with Cook, the Vikings are without starting nose tackle Michael Pierce.

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Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson and left tackle Penei Sewell are active after missing practice time this week.

Hockenson sat out practice Wednesday with a knee injury, but indicated Friday he expected to play. Sewell (ankle) did not practice Wednesday or Thursday, but Campbell was optimistic about his availability.

D'Andre Swift, Jamaal Williams and Trey Flowers, all listed as questionable on the Lions' weekly injury, are active, as is extra tight end Shane Zylstra, who was elevated from the practice squad Saturday.

Running back Jermar Jefferson, receiver Tom Kennedy, defensive linemen Eric Banks and Jashon Cornell, cornerback Daryl Worley and linebacker Jessie Lemonier are inactive for the Lions.

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin Cook inactive vs. Detroit Lions