Vikings’ Gary Kubiak says Dalvin Cook has been ‘beat up’ in recent games

Dalvin Cook is on pace to become just the third different Vikings running back to have a 300-carry season, and it’s showing.

Cook has averaged 25.4 attempts over the past five games to give him 219 for the season. He had 18 carries for 61 yards in last Sunday’s 28-27 win over Carolina while sitting most of the third quarter with an ankle injury.

“You know what I think, he’s just beat up,” Vikings offensive Gary Kubiak said when asked about Cook’s injury in a KFAN radio interview that aired Tuesday. “He’s been hit pretty hard the last couple of weeks, taken some poundings.

“We struggled to get the run game going (against the Panthers). It’s at that point of the season, so we’ve got to get him freshened up this week and get him back to being himself. But I think he’s just kind of beat up over the past couple of weeks.”

After being off Monday and Tuesday, the Vikings return to practice Wednesday. It remains to be seen how much work Cook, who is second in the NFL in rushing with 1,130 yards, might do.

“I don’t know yet,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said of Cook’s status Monday. “I got a report this morning. He said he feels good. We’ll just see where he’s at.”

Cook was hurt early in the third quarter when he was hit by a swarm of Panthers defenders. He fumbled, and safety…

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